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Woodruff Minor: The future of the historic Alameda Theater will be the subject of a public hearing Tuesday before the Alameda City Council.
Woodruff Minor: The future of the historic Alameda Theater will be the subject of a public hearing Tuesday before the Alameda City Council.


Alameda Theater Plan Challenged By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 16, 2005

The two sides in a battle over a proposed movie cineplex and multi-story parking garage project in downtown Alameda both agree that more parking is needed in the city’s downtown area, and the 77-year-old Alameda Theater should be restored. They just don’t agree that the $23.7 million Historic Alameda Theater Rehabilitation Project is the way to do it. 

The issue comes to a head tonight (Tuesday) at 6:10 p.m. when the five-member Alameda City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on an appeal of a Planning Board decision to approve the rehabilitation project. The appeal was requested by residents Ani Dimusheva and Valeria Ruma. The hearing will be held during the council’s meeting in City Council Chambers, 2263 Santa Clara Ave. in Alameda. 

The parking-theater complex is proposed for the corner of Central Avenue and Oak Street in the heart of Alameda’s downtown Civic Center area, less than a block from the main business strip of Park Street and within walking distance of City Hall. City officials consider the old theater restoration and cineplex and parking garage construction as one project, listing all of them together in one link on the city’s website. 

“We want the city to call a halt to the project,” said retired Highland Hospital psychiatric medical social worker Jenny Curtis, an Alameda resident who supports the appeal. “We want them to rethink it, and to proceed with the restoration of the theater and the solving of the parking problem in a more sensible way. We don’t think the answer is in the enormous buildings that they’ve planned. We believe the citizens have been hoodwinked.” 

Curtis said that an ad hoc coalition is prepared to present petitions at tonight’s hearing “signed by an enormous number of citizens and people who work in Alameda who are opposed to the project.” 

The marquee and external facade of the historic Alameda Theater look much the same way as it did when it opened in 1932, designed by Timothy L. Pflueger, the same San Francisco architect who designed Oakland’s Paramount Theater. 

But while the Paramount continues to support live performances and specialty films in a restored interior, the Alameda Theater closed as a cinema outlet in 1979. Since then, alterations for various non-cinema uses—including a roller rink and a gymnastics center—have left the theater without the characteristic sloped floors and with holes knocked in the art deco ceiling to support added lighting. 

Last May, Alameda City Council voted 5-0 to acquire the theater through eminent domain. The city plans to retain ownership of the original theater, but will lease it for operation by theater remodeler Kyle Conner of Santa Rosa. In addition, the city plans to build a seven-screen cinema next door to the original theater. Films will be shown in both the historic and multi-screen portions of the theater complex, with the entranceway and lobby of the original theater serving as the gateway for both parts of the venue. 

The developer-operator is expected to invest $9 million of his own money into the theater project. 

Next door to the multi-plex theater building on Oak Street, the city plans construction of a six-level, 350-space parking garage. 

Leslie Little, Development Services Director for the city of Alameda, said that the purpose of the combined project is to restore the historic theater to its original use, and to provide services for Alameda residents and businesses. 

“Several years ago, the community set two priorities for the downtown area,” she said by telephone. “One of them was to build a parking structure to increase parking opportunities. The other was the restoration of the theater, which is such a gem, and needs to be saved for the use of the community.” 

Alameda committed itself to carrying out these goals, Little said, pointing to the mission of the Historic Alameda Rehabilitation Project. 

“The cineplex was included only to help offset the costs of this project, which are going to be considerable,” she said. “The cineplex will help provide some of the operation support for the electrical and water bills, maintenance costs and staffing which will be needed to keep the theater open. Without that offset, the city would have to find a way to come up with the costs ourselves.” 

That was not enough to convince Alameda residents Dimusheva and Ruma, who appealed the June 27 Planning Board approval of the garage portion of the project. Curtis said she hopes that the hearing will allow opponents to the project to present their views on the entire restoration and construction project. 

“We’re objecting to both the size and the aesthetics of the garage and cineplex,” Curtis said. “The Alameda is a magnificent building in the art deco style, but the proposed new buildings are hideous, concrete, modern structures that are incompatible with the historic nature of the area that we are trying to preserve. The basic design is inappropriate. The first time many of us looked at artist’s renditions we said ‘My God! This is horrible!’ We were shocked and stunned.” 

Curtis said the operation of a cineplex theater is financially risky, “and if this thing doesn’t work out, the Alameda taxpayers are going to have to foot the entire bill.” 

“We know the downtown area needs to change,” added Curtis, who describes herself as a preservationist. “We’re not the kind of people who want to keep everything the same. But we believe that these changes can take place without raping the downtown.”

Price Details Year of Police Investigation By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 16, 2005

Released from jail and with no charges pending against him, the 56-year-old Oakland man accused in the 1970 shooting death of a Berkeley police officer continued to insist on his innocence in a telephone interview with the Daily Planet and protested his treatment at the hands of Berkeley police. 

Berkeley Police officer Ron Tsukamoto was shot and killed on University Avenue by a single gunman in the early morning hours in August 1970. A witness to the shooting provided police with details that led to the creation of an artist’s sketch of the alleged killer. The witness died several years later in an auto accident. 

Last week, retired Oakland educator Styles Price was arrested by Berkeley police for Tsukamoto’s murder. A second man, 56-year-old Don Graphenreed, was also arrested and accused of driving the getaway car. 

Berkeley police say they believe a third man, Price’s brother Philip, acted as the lookout in the murder. Philip Price currently owns a home and operates a business in Mexico, where he has been living for more than a year. 

The Alameda County district attorney’s office declined to bring charges against Price and Graphenreed, but Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Morris Jacobson said the decision “wasn’t the fault of Berkeley police.” 

While he declined to go into the specifics, the prosecutor praised Berkeley detectives for their efforts. 

“The Berkeley Police Department has done an excellent job of investigation,” Jacobson said. “One of the key problems with resolving the 35-year-old murder case is that both bystander eyewitnesses to the crime died, one in an automobile crash and the other of natural causes. Even if one of the three alleged participants in the crime agreed to testify against the others, it wouldn’t be enough to earn a conviction without additional physical or other evidence that would substantiate the account.” 

But Price said flatly, “I did not do it,” adding that he could not say anything more about the case on advice of his lawyer, Oakland attorney William DuBois. 

But Price was willing to give details of his year-long contact with Berkeley police in the Tsukamoto case. 

Price said that Lt. Russell Lopes—the Berkeley investigator brought out of retirement to reopen the Tsukamoto murder investigation—came to his house in the Mills College area of Oakland in May of 2004 to get DNA samples. That was shortly after Berkeley police first arrested Graphenreed in connection with the murder. Graphenreed was released two days later, after the Alameda County District Attorney’s office declined to press charges. 

“Lopes didn’t interview me at that time, and he said that I was not under suspicion,” Price said. “He brought a small army of police officers with him, and I didn’t want to let him in my house, so we went out in the backyard and he took six DNA samples. I told him he was barking up the wrong tree, and that I didn’t want my DNA to be in the system. But he said that if it didn’t match, the police would destroy the samples. I didn’t do it, and I thought the DNA would be proof positive.” 

Price said he did not hear anything more about the matter until late April of this year, when Lopes returned with a search warrant for photos and memorabilia. 

Price said police took approximately nine photograph albums from his house, including “seven that were solely related to my wife’s family prior to the time we met.” 

Price said police also seized an “intimate videotape” of him and his wife. In addition, Price said that Berkeley police took at least two contemporary pictures of him. 

Price expressed puzzlement at one action of the police during the April search, in light of the fact that Lopes later had a computer age-progression done which attempted to show that the police ID sketch done in 1970 would have eventually aged to resemble Price as he now appears. 

“While the police were in my house, they walked back and forth several times in front of a picture on the wall of me in 1970,” he said. “If they wanted to compare that to the composite sketch from 1970, all they had to do was take it.” 

Price said he retained DuBois as his attorney following the April search. 

Around the same time as the search of Price’s house, Berkeley police also searched the North Oakland home of Price’s brother Marty, also a retired Oakland educator. Marty Price said that police broke down his door and broke several windows while he was away from home, causing $2,000 in damage. Marty Price is not considered a suspect in the Tsukamoto killing. 

Price, who suffers from high blood pressure and a degenerative spinal condition, both of which require prescription medication, said that if Berkeley police had asked him to surrender himself he would have voluntarily come into the station with his attorney. Instead, he said that he was not contacted again by Berkeley police until last week, when he said that four officers jumped out of their cars and arrested him while he was taking out the garbage. 

“I was in my slippers and sweats and a T-shirt and they just swooped down and grabbed me,” he said. “I started screaming ‘Help! Help!’ Everybody in the neighborhood said they heard it, including my wife.” 

Price said he was taken to the Berkeley police station and kept in a cell for five hours until he was brought, manacled and shackled, into an interview room with Lt. Lopes. 

“That took about a half a second,” he said. “He asked me if I knew why I was there, and I told him that I was being falsely charged with a murder. He asked me if I was prepared to make a statement at that time, or if I wanted to wait until my lawyer was present. I chose to wait. That was it.” 

Both Price and Graphenreed were scheduled for arraignment last Friday afternoon in Oakland, but court officials told family members gathered for the hearing that charges were not being brought against either man. Both men were later released. Berkeley police officials say they still consider the two men to be the prime suspects in the murder, and plan to continue the investigation.

Cop Killing Came in Era of High Tension By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 16, 2005

The shooting death of Berkeley Police officer Ron Tsukamoto in August 1970 occurred during a period of tense confrontation between left-leaning community and political organizations and law enforcement agencies in Berkeley and the Bay Area, as chronicled in the pages of the Berkeley Daily Gazette. 

A little more than a week before the Tsukamoto shooting, the Berkeley City Council publicly discussed a council committee report on citizen complaints against local police officers, including the alleged July 4 police beating of a Berkeley minister and alleged police brutality against Berkeley Free Clinic medical personnel in May of that year. 

In that same week, the Berkeley-Albany Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union issued a report titled “Police Personnel Complaints and Redress Remedies,” pointing out what the ACLU called “the ineffectiveness and unresponsiveness of the city manager’s office, the City Council and the police department in dealing with citizen complaints” and calling Berkeley “a battleground with not a single trustworthy or reliable umpire present.” 

The day before the City Council meeting on the police complaint report, a group of Berkeley citizens and representatives of national organizations met at Franklin School to discuss a petition drive to put a community control of the police department initiative on the Berkeley ballot. 

Included as speakers were Tom Hayden of the Students for a Democratic Society, a representative of the Black Panther Party, and Frank Daar, a Berkeley Planning Commissioner. 

According to the Daily Gazette, the proposed initiative would have split Berkeley into white, black, and campus communities, each controlled by its own separate neighborhood police departments. The Alameda County clerk’s office certified that almost 8,000 Berkeley voters—more than 15 percent of the active city electorate—had signed the petition. 

Less than a week after the Tsukamoto shooting, Berkeley City Council voted 5-2 to place the initiative on the April ballot. One of the councilmembers in favor of placing the initiative on the ballot even earlier was Ron Dellums, later elected to the U.S. Congress. During a presentation to the council, Tom Hayden—who was later elected to the California State Senate—said that “the police are on a collision course with a great many people, perhaps the majority, in this community.” 

The passage of the ballot initiative in 1972 which eventually established Berkeley’s Police Review Commission grew out of the struggles and discussions over the proposed community control initiative. 

In that same month, 12 Alameda County deputy sheriffs went on trial for allegations of brutality in the 1969 battles at People’s Park that led to the calling out of the California National Guard into the city. 

Two weeks before the Tsukamoto shooting, Black Panther leader Huey Newton was released on bail after the California Court of Appeal overturned his conviction in the 1967 shooting death of an Oakland police officer. 

Newton later said in a KPFA interview that Tsukamato’s shooting was “a revolutionary act.” 

Two days after Newton’s release from jail and 10 days before the Tsukamoto shooting, a California Superior Court judge was kidnapped from his San Rafael courtroom and later killed in an abortive attempt to win the freedom of Soledad prison inmate George Jackson. Jackson’s younger brother, Jonathan, and two San Quentin inmates were also killed in the attempt, which drew international headlines..

KPFA Board Backs General Manager Campanella By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 16, 2005

KPFA’s Local Station Board voted overwhelmingly Sunday to retain General Manager Roy Campanella II despite a complaint filed by eight female station workers charging him with sexual harassment. 

The board voted 15-5, with two abstentions, against recommending Campanella’s dismissal to the Pacifica Foundation, KPFA’s parent network. 

“Our investigation did not find sufficient grounds to call for his termination,” said a board member who requested to remain anonymous. The board also rejected a proposal to place Campanella on probation, several board members said. 

“The board’s decision is the second time an investigative agency has ruled in my favor,” Campanella wrote in an e-mail to the Daily Planet. “Like the first investigation conducted by Pacifica, it’s been found that I did not sexually harass or discriminate against anyone.” 

KPFA’s board has been divided between a faction that is generally supportive of the station staff and a smaller faction that charges that staff members are seeking more influence at the station and views the harassment charges against Campanella as part of a larger power grab. 

Sunday’s vote revealed that several members of the pro-staff faction opposed firing Campanella. 

“This was not a factional vote,” said a board member aligned with the anti-staff faction. “It was an overwhelming majority.” 

Philip Maldari, co-host of KPFA’s morning show, said he was disappointed by the vote. 

“I’m astounded that a leftist political organization like this one is so ignorant of the importance of taking seriously sexual harassment on the job.” 

He added that employees—many of who signed a letter expressing no confidence in Campanella—would petition Pacifica’s national board to fire him. 

“[The station] is totally dysfunctional,” he said. “When a petition of no confidence is signed by 80 percent of the paid staff, it’s clear that the manager can’t manage.” 

KPFA’s board will hold another closed door meeting Saturday aimed at closing the rift between Campanella and station staff. 

The eight staff members who filed the sexual harassment complaints last week with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), charged that from the time Campanella joined the station last November, he asked them out on dates and when rebuffed, retaliated by threatening to cut funding for their programs, criticizing their work to supervisors and threatening to fire them. 

Campanella has maintained that his invitations to go to movies or dinner were extended to both male and female employees at the station and were never intended to be considered dates. 

If the DFEH substantiates the employees’ complaint, KPFA and the board would be liable for monetary damages. 

“The board members are putting the station at tremendous risk,” Maldari said. 

Campanella told the Daily Planet that he has written to the DFEH and to the federal National Labor Relations Board urging them to conduct the investigations. 

“Not only am I convinced that they will find these charges baseless, but it will end the distraction while operating the radio station,” he wrote. 

The station board has been debating Campanella’s future for the past two months. Board members said they conducted an investigation that included testimony from the plaintiffs and concluded that there was not enough evidence to call for Campanella’s dismissal. 

KPFA has struggled to retain general managers in recent years. After a four-year period of interim general managers at the station, KPFA hired former Berkeley Mayor Gus Newport in April of 2003. When Newport resigned after less then a year, Jim Bennett ran the station as interim general manager. Campanella was hired last November after a six-month search for a new station head. 

Creeks Task Force Wades Through Complex Issues By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday August 16, 2005

Waist-deep in the big muddy, Berkeley’s Creeks Task Force (CTF) is slogging ahead with its efforts to come up with a new framework to address a highly turbulent issue. 

For owners of 2,400 homes and other structures, the issue is simple: Just what can and can’t they do if there’s a creek within 30 feet of buildings they own? 

But for Berkeley’s sizable population of creek advocates, a central issue is “daylighting,” the excavation and restoration of long-buried creeks—something that worries many property owners, including the seven members of the 15-member panel whose property is directly affected. 

If the answers aren’t that apparent, neither are many of Berkeley’s creeks, a good portion of which flow out of sight through aging concrete tunnels known as culverts. 

Many of those long-buried culverts are in poor shape, and the issue of who pays for repairs is anything but simple, as an ongoing legal battle between the city and property owners attests. Because of the pending lawsuit, the CTF was specifically ordered to avoid the issue of financial liability. 

Adding another wrinkle to a complex issue is the fact that sellers aren’t required to notify buyers of their property about the presence of buried creeks. 

“Many property owners discovered there was a culverted creek on their property only when the city sent out letters last year,” said Barbara Allen, an organizer of Neighbors on Urban Creeks, an alliance formed to represent property owners during the formulation of a new city creeks ordinance. 

Among the members of the group’s steering committee are former Mayor Shirley Dean and Jill Korte, chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. 

On the other side of the issue are a variety of organizations composed of daylighting advocates.  

While Chair Helen Burke comes to the issue from the side of the creeks advocates—she’s a long-time member of the Sierra Club—she says she strives to provide impartial mediation. 

“We’re slowly working our way through various issues,” she said, including: 

• What setbacks from creek centerlines should be required for new construction? 

• What structures should be regulated? Currently only roof structures within 30 feet of a centerline are covered; should driveways, patios and porches also be included? 

• How to define just what a “creek” really is, and whether or not culverts are creeks. 

Burke and Joshua Bradt, Councilmember Max Anderson’s appointee to the task force and restoration director for the Urban Creeks Council, agree that the first months of meetings, held weekly, were spent bringing members up to speed on a variety of complex issues. 

“There’s a lot to chew over,” said Burke. 

The City Council created the task force with a built-in expiration of May 1, and if the panel fails to come up with an ordinance proposal by then, owners of property affected by culverted creeks would be removed from the ordinance. 

Two September meetings will offer the public definitive perspectives of the two major viewpoints, Burke said. 

On Sept. 12, Neighbors on Urban Creeks will offer their views, and a week later, Juliet Lamont of the Live Oak/Codornices Creek Neighborhood Association (LOCCNA) will offer the perspective of daylighting advocates. 

The following month, Burke said, the task force will examine the work they’ve done over the last eight months and consider possible changes from the outline they adopted in April. Also on the agenda is a discussion of what issues professional consultants can address to help clarify issues to be addressed in a new ordinance. 

For creeks advocates like Bradt, the issue is restoring natural ecosystems that play a major role both in preventing pollutants from reaching streams and in cleansing pollutants already flowing downstream to the Bay. 

“The property owners want to preserve their rights to develop their own properties, which is fine. But they also have an increased responsibility to protect a public resource, a functioning ecosystem that doesn’t change from property line to property line,” he said. 

Bradt and other daylighting advocates deplore culverting creeks, “because a creek inside a tube has no life to it,” he said. They also offer no opportunities for recreation and interaction with a vibrant, dynamic ecosystem. 

But the daylighting and culvert repair issues represent major challenges to homeowners, said Allen, who said that her organization was formed in response to a presentation last year by Bradt’s group. 

One major concern for Allen and her allies is a city attorney’s opinion that said that property owners should be held entirely liable for repairs to faulty culverts underneath their property. “This is really huge,” she said. “Homeowners are very concerned.” 

She noted that the city only developed its list of affected properties last year, with the result that many owners were stunned to discover that their properties were facing potentially massive costs in the event of creek failure, and serious obstacles to rebuilding. 

While city staff decided in 2002 that owners whose buildings were with 30 feet of a creek couldn’t rebuild following an earthquake or fire, the City Council voted two years later to allow reconstruction, although owners were be required to pay for an expensive survey. 

If Allen had her druthers, the ordinance would be rewritten to address the concerns of property owners, especially in regards to the culvert issue. 

“This is a major land use issue that affects all parts of the city and the people’s ability to use their own property,” she said. “Can you imagine if you bought a new house only to learn that you couldn’t add on to it? That’s happened to a lot of people.” 

“We’ve heard from a lot of different points of view and a wide spectrum of opinions,” said Burke. “Attendance by task force members has been excellent.” 

The most faithful turnout in the audience has been by members of Allen’s group, “who turn out very faithfully and make recommendations, many of which we have followed,” Burke said. 

She also said that some of the concerns the panel has raised with the city attorney’s office have yet to be answered, including a property owner’s right to rebuild following both natural and other forms of disasters. 

“There’s a clear difference of opinion between property owners and creek folk,” she said. “We’re there to hear as much as we can before we make up our minds.” 

Unlike many other city commissions and panels, the Creeks Task Force has managed to keep its web site almost up to the moment, posting agendas, minutes and additional information in a timely manner, enabling the public to keep up to date before each meeting. 

Fore more information on the task force, see their website at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/planning/landuse/Creeks/default.html.›

Iceland Requests Extension By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 16, 2005

City officials are considering Berkeley Iceland’s proposal to stay open while the embattled ice rink upgrades its antiquated cooling system. 

On Wednesday, Iceland proposed installing a temporary cooling system by Sept. 23 that would meet city safety requirements including the removal of 4,283 pounds of potentially toxic ammonia. 

Last month, Berkeley threatened to close the 65-year-old rink at Milvia and Ward streets on Aug. 22 if Iceland didn’t shut down its current cooling system and pump out the ammonia. 

Deputy Fire Marshall Wayne Inouye said city officials will decide this week on Iceland’s request to extend the deadline. 

“We’re trying to keep everyone happy,” he said. “I don’t see how they can pull this off in seven days.” 

Iceland Administrative Manager Monte Tiedemann said the rink was confident Berkeley would approve the extension.  

“I anticipate that the city wants to help us stay open,” he said. 

If the city balked at Iceland’s plan, the rink could be made to shut down for a month while the portable cooling system is installed. 

Berkeley has maintained that Iceland’s cooling system lacks adequate safety features for dealing with a system malfunction and that the city was ill-equiped to contain a potential 4,000-pound ammonia release that could harm residents as far as a mile downwind from the rink. 

Until last May, city officials said they had been led to believe that the cooling system contained only 750 pounds of ammonia, not 4,000 pounds. 

Tiedemann said the Aug. 22 deadline didn’t give Iceland enough time to find a temporary cooling system. 

If the city agrees to the extension, Iceland will contract with Willy Bietak Productions, a supplier to the Ice Capades, to install a portable cooling system. 

Brian Lavano, production manager for Willy Bietak, said the Santa Monica company needed until Sept. 23 because it had too many ongoing projects to install the system by the city-imposed August deadline. City officials say the going rate for a portable cooling system is about $5,000 a month. 

The system would operate from a shipping container at the rink’s parking lot, according to Inouye. He said the portable system would address the city’s short-term concerns because it would require only 800 pounds of ammonia, and would include modern safety features to help the  

Fire Department handle an accidental release of ammonia. 

Inouye said that if the city grants the extension, it was unclear how long they would allow Iceland to stick with a portable system.  

Under an agreement with the city, Iceland was to upgrade its ammonia-based system by November. However, Iceland pushed back the scheduled completion of the repair work to next April. 

City building officials have so far found fault with Iceland’s engineering plans for upgrading its permanent cooling system. Tiedemann sought Monday to dispel talk in City Hall that perhaps the rink would close operations in April after its winter skating teams ended their seasons rather than follow through on repairs. 

“Our intention is to have the work complete after the winter season and our intention is to stay,” he said.  


Bayer Corp. Janitors Could Be In a Messy Situation By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 16, 2005

Bayer Corp. is considering laying off 54 janitors at its Berkeley facility. The jobs would be contracted out to a firm that pays its employees nearly half what current Bayer janitors make, according to union officials. 

“They have been telling us for four months that they are planning to contract out the janitorial positions,” said Donald Mahon, business agent for the International Longshoreman’s Warehouse Union, which represents about 250 Bayer employees. 

But Mahon said late Monday that there appeared to be movement in contract negotiations and that the fate of the janitors would likely be known in the coming week. 

Bayer spokesperson Clelia Baur said the pharmaceutical company retained the right to contract out the jobs, but that it hadn’t determined if it would go that route. 

“Nothing’s been decided yet, so it wouldn’t be the appropriate time to talk about this publicly,” she said. 

The current three-year contract covering all union employees at Bayer expires Aug. 25. Both sides have been meeting daily trying to hammer out a new deal, Mahon said. The janitors are the only classification whose jobs are threatened. 

Mahon said Bayer was planning to contract out the janitorial jobs to a firm that employed workers represented by Service Workers International Union Local 1877. Under the SEIU contract, the new janitors would make $11 an hour compared to $20.29 an hour currently earned by janitors at Bayer. 

“Bayer said it was costing them more than $2 million a year to keep the workers,” according to Mahon. 

In recent years many large employers have subcontracted out their janitorial jobs to save money,” said SEIU Local 1877 Staff Director Andrea Dehlendorf. She added that her union would oppose any effort by Bayer to contract out the jobs. 

“We support the ILWU completely in keeping higher [salary] standards,” she said. 

Dehlendorf said the $11 an hour plus health care benefits that SEIU has negotiated for over 6,000 janitors working for subcontractors represented a major victory for the workers. 

“In the absence of having a union they would make minimum wage and have no health insurance,” she said. 

Since signing an agreement with Berkeley over a decade ago to expand its facility, Bayer has roughly doubled the number of union employees, Mahon said. Besides janitors, the ILWU represents Bayer maintenance workers, lab technicians, craftsmen and maintenance staff. 

Mahon said Bayer was asking all of its workers to pay more for health benefits under a new contract. 






School District Replaces Deputy Superintendent With Predecessor By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 16, 2005

The Berkeley Unified School District moved quickly to fill the gap left by the resignation of outgoing Deputy Superintendent Glenston Thompson, bringing back the man Thompson himself replaced a year ago. 

Late last week, BUSD Superintendent Michele Lawrence announced that Eric Smith would return to the district on Sept. 1 to resume his duties as deputy superintendent, with an emphasis on finances and operations. District sources said that Thompson chose to voluntarily leave that position to return to the private sector effective Aug. 3, choosing not to request renewal of his one-year contract. 

Smith holds a master’s degree in public administration from California State University Stanislaus, and has worked for the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT), the legislature-created organization charged with overseeing many of California’s public school systems, including BUSD. 

During his first one-year tenure with the district that ended in May of 2004, Smith was credited with helping to erase BUSD’s $6.5 million deficit and getting the district out of the red for the first time in three years. Lawrence credited him with saving the district between $2 million and $3 million by fine-tuning systems and changing outdated business practices. 

In March of 2004, Smith announced that he was leaving the district because of a family emergency involving his two children that required him to relocate to another part of the state. “It’s purely personal,” he told the Daily Planet at the time. 

School Board Director Shirley Issel called Smith’s departure “a tremendous loss for the district.” 

In her statement announcing Smith’s rehiring, Lawrence expressed confidence in Smith. 

“I feel certain that our progress on many issues can continue without disruption and flourish under his leadership,” she said. “Eric is considered by his peers as one of the five best chief business officials in the state. In addition to his extensive knowledge of all aspects of school district operations, he is recognized as an expert in school facilities finance and construction.” 



Landmarks Subcommittees Will Visit Two Development Project Sites By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday August 16, 2005

Two subcommittees of the Landmarks Preservation Commission will meet with two developers at the site of their projects, each one involving a structure under the commission’s jurisdiction.  

The first meeting is at 5 p.m. Thursday at 2901 Otis St., a one-story cottage recently named a “structure of merit” slated for conversion into a three-story structure with one condominium on each floor. 

The second meeting begins at 8 a.m. Friday in the Towne Room on the second floor of the Shattuck Hotel, the flagship of downtown landmarks. 

Developer Roy Nee plans to renovate the venerable structure at 2086 Shattuck Ave. and add a small addition to structure at the northwest corner of the property. 

Both meetings are open to the public. 


Tuesday August 16, 2005

The story, “Waterfront Development Frays Albany Council” in the Aug. 12 issue incorrectly reported that Albany City Councilmember Allan Maris accused his council colleague Robert Lieber of “lying to the press.” Although he did accuse Lieber of authoring e-mails distorting Maris’s positions, it was Albany resident Steve Pinto whom he accused of making false statements in a letter to a local newspaper. The story also incorrectly reported that Matt Middlebrook is a top executive at the public relations firm of Fleischmann-Hilliard. Middlebrook has left that company to become vice president of government relations for Caruso Affiliated Holdings.?

News Analysis: ‘Peace Pact’ Between Brits and Islamists Collapses By JALAL GHAZI Pacific News Service

Tuesday August 16, 2005

Since the London bombing attacks, Arab writers have expressed amazement that for two decades the British government looked the other way as Islamist extremists preached hate-filled jihadi ideologies in city mosques. Now, several Arab commentators insist that Downing Street must have made a deal with London’s radical Islamists: They could say what they wanted about Jews, the corrupt West and Iraq, as long as they didn’t attack the United Kingdom at home.  

The July 7 subway and bus attacks, and Prime Minister Tony Blair’s subsequent crackdown on Islamist extremists, destroyed that pact. Ironically that may have been the purpose of the blasts: to force Islamic extremists in London into more direct confrontation with the British government.  

Ilyas Frahush, writing in the London based Al-Majalla, a leading international Arab magazines, uses the term “Londonistan” for the once-happy home for Islamic extremism in England. Only under an explicit or unspoken agreement between British authorities and the radicals, Frahush speculates, could a man like Egyptian national Abu Hamza Al Masri have preached freely for 10 years in the Frinsbury Park Mosque. Al Masri was linked to Zacarias Moussaoui and “shoe bomber” Richard Reid. Yemen accused him of inciting the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Yet, not until 2004, under intense pressure from U.S. and European officials, did Britain ban Al Masri from his mosque. He responded by preaching to his followers in the streets.  

London also became a safe haven for the Syrian national Omar Bakri, who received political asylum in the United Kingdom. According to Frahush, Bakri’s case points more directly to a pact between Britain and the extremists. Frahush writes that in an interview with the British “Evening News” program on channel 2, Bakri commented, “As an Islamic scholar I believe that the September 11 attacks are justifiable because America did not make a “peace pact” with Muslims living abroad. Thus when I heard about the attacks I prayed that the attackers were non-Americans.”  

What Bakri meant is that when Muslims agree to become citizens of the countries in which they live, they become obligated not to attack those countries.  

Farhush sarcastically asks what Bakri has to say about the “heroic four British citizens” who carried out the London explosions and what kind of “peace pact” they could have been observing when they killed British citizens on their way to work in subways and buses.  

So who would want to end the tolerant stance of the British government with a brutal bombing, and why? A front-page article in the July 12 issue of the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper offers a possible answer. Jamal Khashqaji, a consultant for the Saudi Ambassador to London, believes that certain radical Islamists want to force other groups of Muslims into direct confrontations with their governments.  

Kkashqaji says that 10 years ago in London, he personally talked with Abu Musab Al Suri, who, according to Al-Majalla magazine, was and still may be closely associated with Bin Laden and other radical Islamists. Khashqaji told Asharq Al-Awsat that Al Suri met with him and said, “I know you like the non-violent Islam orientation of the Muslim Brotherhood, but we will force you to get involved despite your noise.” Al Suri continued, “When jihad [armed operations] are carried out in Saudi Arabia, the government will respond by going after everyone. Since we are more organized and better prepared, you will be forced to seek our help when the government puts pressure on you.”  

Al Suri lived in London from 1995 to 1998, but was not placed on the list of wanted terrorists until January 2004. While in London he edited Ansar, a publication aimed at young Algerian men. Along with the Jordanian Abu Qatada Al-Falastini, whom the Jordanian government linked to the assassination of an American diplomat in Amman in 1999, Al Suri issued religious decries allowing armed Algerian groups to kill civilians. Abu Qatada was teaching the radical Islamic ideology “Takferism” to young Muslim men in his home in London at the time.  

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the United States has offered $5 million for the arrest of Al Suri, who is believed to be hiding along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  

The London bombings can be understood in the same context as the series of armed attacks carried out in Saudi Arabia recently, such as the suicide car bombings against the Saudi Interior Ministry in February 2005. For many decades, Saudi Arabia has had a deal with the puritanical Wahhabists, who are allowed to preach freely in mosques, determine school curricula and proscribe social rules so long as the king retains sole control over foreign affairs, including oil. The deal shielded the kingdom from armed attacks until America stationed U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.  

Both London and Riyadh thought that by tolerating radical Islamists, those groups would not turn against them. But it seems that Al Qaeda and other groups that advocate a particularly violent brand of radical Islam have grown frustrated with the perceived passivity of these jihadi groups.  


Jalal Ghazi monitors and translates Arab media for New California Media (a project of PNS) and Link TV.?

Editorial Cartoon By JUSTIN DEFREITAS

Tuesday August 16, 2005


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday August 16, 2005


Editors, Daily Planet  

Although the Aug. 12 commentary on Maria King and the mental health system (“Chemical Therapy Endangers Psychiatric Patients”) bears my byline, it was not written by me. It was written by Randy Busang, a Bay Area activist and member of the organization I founded in 1989, the Network Against Coercive Psychiatry. Ms. Busang misinterpreted my praise of the draft of the article she sent me as authorization to submit it for publication under my name. For the record, the letter is not written by me nor in my style. I did not attend Maria King’s funeral, as I have not been in the Bay Area since 1985. 

While I agree with most of Ms. Busang’s criticisms, I think her explanation for why the mental health system fails to help its clients is inaccurate. She attributes its failure both to ignorance on the part of the federal government and to the fact that it is financially profitable both to the drug companies and to the psychiatric establishment. While I agree that the profitability of the mental health industry explains its extraordinary growth in spite of its destructiveness, I do not think ignorance on the part of the government explains why the system has been shielded from oversight. Rather I would argue the mental health system is protected because it is designed not merely to be profitable but to control and contain the perceived threat of “deviation” from dominant social norms. Since it succeeds fairly well, albeit imperfectly, at achieving the latter goal, few people, least of all politicians, are inclined to discern that it does not serve the interests of its clients or contribute to the greater social good. 

Thank you for rectifying the misattribution of the article on Maria King to me. 

Seth Farber, Ph.D. 

New York City 




Editors, Daily Planet 

Kudos to Rabbi Sara Schendelman for her temperate words of wisdom. She tells it exactly like it is. 

As a former, three-time resident of Berkeley over the past 40 years, I found this comment by the Rabbi to be especially pertinent: “We may be the home of the Free Speech Movement but we are probably the most intolerant place in the U.S. when faced with a differing view.” This was even more true when I moved to the Midwest in 2003 then it had been when I entered Cal in 1965. 

I recently spent a week at a convention in Salt Lake City and took various opportunities to explore the local Mormon culture. Much to my surprise and delight, I discovered quite a few extremely conservative Republican folks—who undoubtedly viewed me as “far left”—who managed to debate politics and even theology with grace and good humor, and who listened to my consistently opposing viewpoints without getting defensive, hostile or contemptuous. For some reason, that doesn’t happen in Utopia By The Bay. 

I’ve read some pretty embarrassing stuff related to Middle East questions in the past few months. It would be nice if some of you folks—of all opinions—would grow up and act your age. 

Michael Stephens 





Editors, Daily Planet 

Becky O’Malley’s Aug. 12 editorial makes clear her proposition that public opposition to the pressures of construction and parking should not be seen as animosity toward the institutions attempting to expand their facilities. 

But she inadvertently raises a larger question: “Religious institutions in Berkeley...should remember that they are guests in this city which is our home, and that we are supporting their religious mission, even if we’re not ourselves believers, by providing them with streets to park on while exempting them from paying property taxes.”  

Why should many of us who are not believers, who in fact see all religious institutions as purveyors of mythology and deception, as well as the cause of endless cultural wars and disputes (even here in the Peaceable Kingdom of Berkeley), bear the tax burden that those institutions evade? 

What more blatant violation can there be of the separation of church and state, and why should we tolerate it in Berkeley? 

Jerry Landis 




Editors, Daily Planet 

It only goes to show what an idiot you are. The little boy who cried wolf. Your paper is one of the most anti-Israel and anti-Semitic papers around. Under the name of liberalism and showing all sides. The only side that shows in the newspaper is your bottom side. If you remember Germany in the ‘30s the Nazis weren’t anti-Semitic when they started out. Then they started burning books, then Jew-owned stores, then synagogues, then finally people. All along the little Jewish boy was crying wolf and no one even came. All your Arab pals were siding with Adolph including the Arafat clan. Wake up and realize what you’re saying. Beth El did expose the creek, tore down a bunch of firetrap shacks, cleared the brush and fire hazard property and made a synagogue, school and improved the property values of the neighbors’ land. So give it up. If it was up to the neighbors, UC Berkeley would have been run out of town in 1868 because it was developing unspoiled land.  

David Spieler 




Editors, Daily Planet 

Becky O’Malley correctly notes in her Aug. 12 editorial that: “Anti-Semitism and racism are real, living evils, existing in the world and even in Berkeley at this very moment.” And she cites the Beth El controversy as exemplary of crying wolf over what some call anti-Semitism, saying that by so doing, “the public will react as villagers did to the boy who cried wolf and ignore them.” 

Although I am not sufficiently conversant with the Beth El situation to take a stand on it, I can say that O’Malley is in an excellent position to acknowledge that “Anti-Semitism (exists in) Berkeley at this very moment,” as her paper and some members of the Peace and Justice Commission have served as a catalyst for the local metastasis of this ancient cauldron of hate. 

How so? Instead of focusing upon local matters, as a good municipal paper should do, O’Malley has been obsessed with castigating Israel. And while a local publication shouldn’t waste time and space on international matters which can be found elsewhere, it is telling that O’Malley should, week after week, run biased reportage, op-eds, and editorials bashing the sole democracy in the Middle East. But even if one were to run commentary about international issues, why this overwhelming emphasis upon Israel rather than the planet’s genuine tyrannies, including all Arab nations, which violate human rights in the most egregious ways? What reason other than anti-Semitism can one discern for this constant spotlight on Israel? 

And this issue, until recently, was reflected in a so-called Peace and Justice Commission which was likewise obsessed with castigating Israel while refusing to examine either local incidents of rights abuses or dictatorships like that darling of the Left, Cuba. Here, too, there can be but one rationale. Fortunately, those honorable members of the City Council and Mayor Tom Bates have recently appointed unbiased members to the commission, thereby defusing it an incubator of bigotry. 

Years before he took power, Adolf Hitler clearly delineated in Mein Kamph what his intentions were for the Jewish people. As Hitler continued to make gains politically, a number of astute observers pointed out both to the German people and the world what a clear and present danger he was. And to be sure, they were accused of crying wolf by the Becky O’Malleys of their time. 

Ms. O’Malley, by your incessant Israel bashing, you have identified yourself likewise a predator in our community and those of us who have expressed this are hardly crying wolf. If you are to garner any genuine notices of merit for your publication, please cease and desist from letting it serve as a springboard for anti-Semitism. 

Dan Spitzer 





Editors, Daily Planet 

Your editorial about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” could have been about Johnathan Wornick’s whining commentary “Is Free Speech Dead in Berkeley.” 

In “Opposed to Department of Peace” he was hostile. His taunting of Department of Peace supporters with slogans like “call it peace, puppies and chocolate” was bizarre. He even attacked citizens for participating in democracy by lobbying the City Council, something that is an essential part of free speech. 

Now he claims free speech is dead in Berkeley. That’s odd, how many people heard of this character before the Daily Planet published his writings?  

His opinions are out of character with your editorial position, so how did he manage to get it published in a community that lacks free speech? 

He goes on to say that he thought people in Berkeley would stand up for his right to free speech but found he was mistaken. But he gives not one example of anyone infringing on his right to free speech. Was his right to express himself denied? No, I learned about it by his whimpering on the pages of the Daily Planet, despite the fact you are under no obligation to publish it. 

Apparently what interfered with his right to free speech is that the Planet dared print responses disagreeing with his childish rant. Imagine someone writing a letter expressing disagreement with Wornick’s viewpoint! My, my, no one should have to put up with such repression!  

What could be more threatening to free speech than that? 

Elliot Cohen 

Peace and Justice Commissioner 




Editors, Daily Planet 

I often agree with Elliott Cohen, but when he is wrong he can be very wrong. In his Aug. 12 commentary he attacks Johnathan Wornick for “deceitfully [omitting] his father’s role as founder of . . . the largest supplier of military food rations" as a reason for opposing a resolution supporting a department of peace. 

One would think that an army must eat, whether at peace or at war, and we are not about to disband our army, department of peace or not. So logic eludes Mr. Cohen’s argument. 

But more to the point, are we reduced to visiting the (supposed) sins of the father on the son? I would have thought that guilt by association was something we left wingers eschewed—having been the victims of it for far too long. Mr. Cohen needs a (recent) history lesson. Mr. Cohen is far better (and far more effective) sticking to the validity of the arguments for his position than using these essentially right-wing tactics against his opponents. 

Mr. Wornick, on the other hand, needs to stop classifying everything with which he disagrees as “the radical left” in order to be taken seriously. I dare say that I fall under his criteria for far left, yet here I am defending his right to say his piece. Perhaps he needs to do some reflecting on his debating style and start talking more about issues than about classifying his opponents. The left in this country is marginalized and I know few left-leaning people who think that, because they are marginally more numerous in Berkeley than other cities, they have any serious power. 

John Gertz is far more subtle in his attacks on the left, but his arguments lack validity. There are many of us on the left who neither want the destruction of Israel nor the transformation of it into an aggressive, land-grabbing, colonialist power. If Mr. Gertz truly wants to get out of the West Bank as he implies, let him join the rest of us fighting the policy of U.S. government tacit (or active) support for an Israeli government policy of retention of the West Bank settlements. If he does not support that position of withdrawal to the Green Line, he needs to be clear and say so, and say why.  

All in all, the debate is healthy and democratic but each side needs to stop trying to silence the other side or so demonize it that everybody in this debate will soon lack credibility. I know that Mr. Cohen and Mr. Gertz are both intelligent, charming people; no doubt, so is Mr. Wornick. I just wish they would stick to the facts in the debate. 

Mal Burnstein 




Editors, Daily Planet 

About the Peace and Justice Commission controversy. 

Mr. Wornick, we get it. Apparently you are planning to run for office one day and want to appeal to a new demographic whose opinions may be less “radical.” 

Fine. You have that right. But why the dishonesty and deceit? 

In two commentaries in a row you claimed your vote against peace related proposals was because it made no difference what Berkeley said, so the vote was a waste of our tax dollars.  

Get real. City councilmembers are paid the same salary no matter how many things they debate or vote on, so it does not waste money to have the City Council act on peace resolutions.  

So that must mean your complaining about the cost of implementing the recommendation. Let’s see, that would be the cost of four postage stamps to mail copies of the resolution and a cover letter to Barbara Lee and Senators Boxer and Feinstein. A tremendous burden on our tax payers. Sure glad we have a fiscal watch dog like WAR-nick on the case. 

Why all the fuss? Were you really worried about the cost of a few postage stamps? Then we learn from another commentary (“Don’t Let Conservatives Silence Berkeley’s Voice,” Elliot Cohen, Aug. 12) that Wornick’s ability to buy a house in Berkeley’s expensive market is the result of money made selling food rations to soldiers who Wornick voted against withdrawing from mortal danger in Iraq!  

But wait. He’s a vegetarian. Even if Wornick gets rich while people die in far off places eating food rations that make him rich at least we can take comfort in the notion they eat vegetarian foods! 

Wornick is nothing but a self-serving hypocrite out to make a name for himself, hoping he can one day represent a new demographic base. Wornick no doubt has a good future, following the pattern of Bush, who also supported a war while sitting safely at home building a political future and belittling people who called for peace. Berkeley has room for conservative viewpoints; there are already several conservative democrats, as well as a vegetarian, on our City Council. What we don’t need are war profiteers that lie about their motives for voting against peace.  

Since Wornick voted against bring troops home from Iraq maybe he should put his money where his food rations are and volunteer to go there himself. I doubt he’ll do it, a coward like him would much rather bully people with deceitful lies and insults then ever fight in a war he votes to let others fight for him.  

Alan Reisse 




Editors, Daily Planet 

Jonathan Wornick, in an effort to establish his liberal credentials, attacks those who oppose abortion for repackaging the anti-abortion movement as the pro-life movement. He claims this was an effort to infer that if one wasn’t pro-life, they must be pro-death. But he knows as well as I do that the anti-abortion movement started calling itself pro-life in response to the repackaging of the pro-abortion movement as the pro-choice movement, which was indeed an effort to portray those who opposed abortion as being against making choices. Wornick argues that he should be respected for expressing his views, but I that believe that no community is well served by honoring and respecting those whose views are based on deceitful claims. 

Bill McGregor 




Editors, Daily Planet 

Elliot Cohen’s Aug. 12 commentary, “Don’t Let Conservatives Silence Berkeley’s Voice,” succinctly revealed his true intentions and his desperation.  

Plainly and simply, his flailing attempt to discredit me with a slanderous accusation falls flat. It also shows the weakness of his arguments and his inflated opinion of the power of Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission. 

Plainly and simply, he accused me of having a secret agenda to support the war in Iraq, or rather, all wars in order to line my and my family’s pockets. He could have solved his concern with a simple phone call to me. It is true that there is a company named the Wornick Company that does produce military rations. It is also true that my father created the company—something I am quite proud of. I wonder what Cohen has created, besides flimsy accusations? Feeding our military in the field during war and training is not exactly equivalent to making bombs. Furthermore, the Wornick Company also produces relief rations for the United Nations, food for the space program and a number of other commercial products. But most importantly, our family hasn’t owned the company for nearly a decade.  

Perhaps Elliot is smoking a little too much of his favorite substance—something he always manages to proudly bring up at our commission meetings.  

I look forward to real debate when the Peace and Justice Commission resumes in September.  

Jonathan Wornick 




Editors, Daily Planet 

The Daily Planet has published a spate of fulminations from the local Israel State apologists that exceed even their usual flatulent bombast. Lawrence W. White’s hysterical op-ed is a textbook case. 

First, he libels Mark Ritchey as equivalent to the KKK for correctly pointing the tactics used by one of Israel’s zealots. Only someone ignorant of the bloody history of the Klan could make such a ludicrous statement. 

Second, White ignores totally the 40 years of Israel’s terroristic occupation of the Palestinians and only condemns their reactions, not the original crimes against them. Spare us your crocodile tears, White.  

Third, in 1956 Eygpt was invaded by Israel, Britain and France after Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. Which is in Eygpt last time I looked. But in the White fantasy world the “Arabs” launched that war too! 

In fact in 1967 Israel launched what it termed a preventative war against Eygpt and Syria, but White again credits the “Arabs” with launching that one too! 

In 1948 five Arab Armies did enter what had been Arab Palestine to stop the expulsion of the Palestinians that had been occurring months before Israel’s unilateral declaration of state on May 15. In the White fantasy world this is all the “Arabs” fault. 

Fourth, there were never anywhere near one million Jews expelled from Arab countries. Several hundred thousand Jews were recruited by Israel to leave Iraq, Morocco and Yemen, from where 95 percent of all Arab Jews originated. Alfred Lilenthal’s The Other Side of The Coin (1965) documents this. 

Fifth, where are there any “security’ fences anywhere in the world matching the horror wall that Israel is building? None since the Berlin Wall went down. 

Sixth, many of us are fed up of the obnoxious Holocaust exploitation used by Israel’s apologists to try to silence legitimate criticism of Israel. Why is this crime so much more publicized than the tens of millions killed in China, Russia, etc.? Or even the millions of victims of American imperialism here in the U.S. (slaves, Indians) or abroad (Indochina, Indonesia, etc.) 

Seventh, if White thinks that Arabs have anything like an equal situation inside Israel itself he needs to talk to some who live there. It is of course much better inside the Green Line than in the Occupied Territories but that should hardly be the standard! 

Eighth, it’s hardly Arafat’s personal corruption that has kept the Palestinians in poverty but the Israeli rejectionist policy of occupation underwritten by the U.S. government. 

White’s mentality is the reason this conflict has persisted for so long. But fewer people are being intimidated the longer this bloody occupation goes on. 

Michael Hardesty 





Editors, Daily Planet 

I’ll treat Michael Hardesty, Robert Lipton and Mark Richey to a Friday lunch at Saul’s Delicatessen if they can only prove that three of the following 10 events “has its root cause” in the acts of the Israeli government since 1967: 

• The British decision to give 77 percent of the land mandated as a Jewish national home to Emir Abdullah, creating what we call Jordan and what the PLO recognizes as Palestine. 

• The 1920-1921 anti-Jewish riots in Palestine. 

• The 1929 slaughter of 133 Jews by Arabs in Hebron. 

• The 1936-1939 riots in Palestine, in which anti-Jewish mobs carried signs reading “Palestine for Arabs.” 

• The Arab rejection of partition plans in the 1930s and the 1940s. 

• The 1941 meeting between Hitler and the Mufti of Jerusalem to discuss what the Mufti called their shared purpose. 

• The Mufti’s 1948 proclamation of a holy war to murder all Jews. 

• The May 14, 1948 declaration, by the secretary general of the Arab League, of “a war of extermination” against Israel. 

• The May 15, 1948 order by the Mufti of Jerusalem telling Israel’s 600,000 Arabs to abandon their homes so that Arab armies could invade their land and fight in their stead. 

• The Jan. 9, 1954 statement by the King of Saudi Arabia that “the Arab nations should sacrifice up to 10 million of their...people...to wipe out Israel.” 

If our local paragons of unemotional historical literacy decline my invitation, we can only infer it’s because they are already out to lunch. 

David Altschul 




How unfortunate that some members of the Peace and Justice Commission have chosen to waste their talent and energy on international issues when they could be making a difference by thinking locally. As it is, they are a source of irritation and divisiveness in Berkeley and some amusement nationally. 

Could be that this is precisely the kind of commission that belongs on the list of those that never would be missed.  

Hopefully, none of its members collect the $40 per meeting available in some situations. That would truly be a case of money misspent. 

Rhoda Levinson 




In an attempt to illustrate the vast worldwide conspiracy against tiny Israel (the fifth-largest military power with 200 nuclear bombs), a writer to this paper states that the United Nations General Assembly has passed 88 resolutions against Israel. Following this reasoning, would getting 88 speeding tickets make one a good driver? 

Barbara Henninger 




Concering the Brower sculpture: 

Install the Ball! 

New York City might have the Big Apple, but we have the Behemoth Blueberry! 

Richard List 




Editors, Daily Planet 

Alta Bates-Summit has problems other than just those mentioned in your paper. The organization has refused for many years to state which reproductive services they provide. Vasectomies, tubal ligations, abortions? They won’t say. 

Nancy Ward 


Oakland/East Bay 

National Organization for Women 




Editors, Daily Planet 

The employees of Berkeley Public Library say that the future plan/intention is to have all library people checking out books replaced by the RFID machines. I was told this by five employees—none wanted to have their names used. 

As it is now, the one machine does not work. I asked, “Has there been a public notice of this plan?” The answer was, “After the machines are the only way to check out library materials.” 

No one has discussed the serious computer security problems with RFID. The Berkeley Public Library is vulnerable because of lack of security protocols. How far away from the library can RFID be read by unscrupulous pirates seeking private data? 

Alexandra Andrews 




Editors, Daily Planet 

What a joy to read a story that represents how real black people live. I have almost stopped reading and watching mainstream media coverage of anything, especially when it concerns black folks. J. Douglas Allen-Taylor report on the free concerts in Arroyo Park was the type of news coverage that is missing in the media. Outside of a few black-owned newspapers you would never hear anything positive in regards to the Honorable Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam nor an event that didn’t include any anti-social behavior. The district council women, Dwayne Wiggins and all those that put on the event should be commended and their model should be taken on a U.S. tour.  

Since I’m here in Houston Texas, I think I’ll go and enjoy a red soda-water. 

Laurence Woods  





Editors, Daily Planet 

Let me get this straight: 

Berkeley voters have made clear property taxes are too high. 

Car dealers are the biggest business tax producers in Berkeley. 

The Berkeley City Council is officially supporting a boycott of the local Honda dealer. 

I am neutral on the contract dispute between workers and the owner at the Honda dealership. Certainly, people have the right to boycott the dealer. But the city should be neutral. 

As it is, the City of Berkeley is signaling yet again that it is aggressively, and needlessly, anti-business.  

Just where does the City Council expect the expect to get the money to provide city services? 

Tom Case 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Imagine waking up one morning to learn that you are out of work and that the new owners of your workplace replaced you with recent school graduates. Or imagine that your pension plan after 20 years of seniority with the firm was suddenly canceled. But also imagine to your delight that many people, all strangers to you, are morally outraged at how you have been treated, and as a result they publicly protest to defend your rights as a working person. 

At Berkeley Honda, these wonderful idealists and Berkeley Honda strikers have been protesting every Thursday from 4:30-6 p.m., and Saturday, 1-2 p.m. The East Bay Labor Committee for Peace and Justice is sponsoring these neighbor to labor events until the labor dispute is resolved. These striking workers deserve our support. We must send a message to the new owners that union busting will not be tolerated in Berkeley. Please join us, and bring along members of your family and friends.  

Harry Brill  

El Cerrito 




Editors, Daily Planet 

As a citizen of Berkeley since 1961, I am delighted to have the Berkeley Night Out to see our fire and police officials come out and talk with us—they see the public at their worst—and we the public see them at their best most of the time. They’re terrific, for the most part. But can we make Berkeley a better place with the same budgets and constraints? We can and it is a simple solution—stop funding the homeless—and give the money to the fire stations (to cease brown-outs) and to the Police Department to buy a dog for K-9 duty. The city simply cannot afford to pay these homeless their free medical prescriptions, their free Viagra, their free coffee, their mental health any longer. The city does not pay for my prescription meds! Hell, the homeless use the bathroom on a city street and in our school yards!! The fire and police serve all the people of Berkeley, and who do the homeless serve? Nobody; they just take take take from a resource that cannot repair their streets, keep their libraries open, fix their buildings, and clean their streets. Which is more important? I say fire and police before a person who takes a dump in a school yard! Thanks Berkeley Fire Department and Berkeley Police Department. No thanks homeless people.  

Mark Bayless 




Editors, Daily Planet 

I must take issue with Barbara Lee. She says in her recent commentary: “Most Americans are unaware that the right to vote is not explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution.” 

I think it is explicitly stated in the first three words and first 52 words of the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” 

Although the bulk of the Constitution establishes representative democracy, the introduction implies more. It implies what is stated explicitly in the Brown Act and the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act in California. It implies participatory democracy. All of the powers of the representative government emanate from “We the People,” and we do not by establishing representatives relinquish our control over them. They are to act as our delegates, enacting our will, and not as surrogates for us, substituting their own will for our will. The will of God resides in the will of the People, not in the will of their rulers or even their representatives. That is the profound idea stated explicitly in our Constitution. 

Peter J. Mutnick 




Editors, Daily Planet 

I had some additional comments to Tuesday letter about the atomic bombing. On that day, several of my relatives died in Hiroshima and my grandmother who went into the city soon after, died several years later from a “blood disorder.” Because of the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the world’s first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the media has discussed both pros and cons of this action. Japanese militarism with its accompanying brutality and atrocities committed upon many during World War II needed to be defeated. American lives were probably saved from having to make a landing in Japan. Any people will fight much harder on their own soil.  

But I don’t want to get into the whys or who suffered more. I quietly mourn the loss of hundreds of thousands of civilians whose lives were lost with two bombs. I mourn for those who have died in the process of making the bomb, from the miners of the radioactive material to our solders and scientists who were exposed during testing to Americans exposed to the radioactive fallout after the testing, and for the devastated Pacific islands where the testing was done. Aug. 6 and 9 remind me to continue to oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons and Bush’s plans for mini nuke bunker busting bombs and to worry about the security surrounding nuclear power plants. As my uncle once told me, “War makes everyone crazy. In war, everyone suffers.” 

Diane Tokugawa  




Editors, Daily Planet 

Thank you for printing the letter about the Gallo wine boycott. For those readers who want to support the farm workers, it is important to know the brands to boycott. These include Anapamu; Andre; Ballatore Spumante; Bartles & Jaymes Coolers; Bella Sera; Black Swan; Boone’s Farm; Bridlewood Winery; Burlwood; Carlo Rossi; Cask & Cream; Copperidge; Da VINCI; E&J Brandy; Ecco Domani; Frei Brothers; Gossamer Bay; Indigo Hills; Liberty Creek; Livingston Cellars; Louis M. Martini; MacMurray Ranch; Marcelina; McWilliams Hanwood Estate; Mirassou; Napa Valley Vineyards; Peter Vella; Rancho Zabaco; Red Bicyclette; Redwood Creek; Tott’s; Turning Leaf; as well as anything including the name Gallo. 

I have attended the United Farm Workers (UFW) meetings in Oakland, and I am amazed at the number of people this has affected. As the UFW and Gallo return to the table this month, we as the consumers have the power to finish this. By supporting the UFW’s boycott, we can succeed. Join us in the fight against Gallo.  

Jessica Cervano 




Editors, Daily Planet 

As a citizen, I exercised my right of protest by phoning the White House switchboard (202-456-1414) to tell them that President Bush was wrong to push through a recess appointment of John Bolton to be the United Nations ambassador for the United States. The White House operator said “OK” and was ready to hang up on me, when I replied: “Aren’t you going to take down my contact information?” The operator replied that she “already has it.” I was confused, because my phone number is a blocked number. Me, being curious, said, “How do you have my phone number?” The operator was quick to say, “Sir, I’m sorry. I can’t discuss that.” And as I started to say something else, the operator rudely hung up on me (maybe because I was from Berkeley).  

Apparently, the Bush administration has installed a “defense” system that reveals blocked information. So residents, beware, President Bush knows where you live and how to contact you. He’s watching you! 

Rio Bauce 


Column: The Public Eye: Mao Spelled Backwards By Zelda Bronstein

Tuesday August 16, 2005

One of my treasured mementos is a yellowing copy of the December 1971 issue of a Berkeley community newspaper called New Morning. Laid out like a tabloid, its 12 pages radiate the freewheeling exuberance of this city’s political counterculture some 30 years past. The pervasive tone is sounded by the comic book-style narrative that occupies most of the front page. “Friends,” it begins, “this is a lesson in dialectics called OM is MAO spelled backwards.”  

Veering from serious to silly and back, the contents also include a proposal for a rent control amendment to the Berkeley City Charter; “Notes from the Asparagus Underground”; a full-page salute from the prisoners at Attica; information about the Free University of Berkeley’s fiscal problems and upcoming classes (Women’s Basketball, Beginning Astrology, A Day at the Track, Mechanics, to name just a few); a critique of “the traditional diatonicism” of the Cal music department; and articles on the Free Clinic, the Rap Center (no, not that kind of rap), the low visibility of Asians in town, and the sexist division of labor in communes.  

Then there’s my favorite thing: “Loni Hancock Reports” (see story at right). The previous May, Hancock had been elected to the Berkeley City Council as part of a four-candidate slate supported by the April Coalition. She was the leading spokesperson for a youthful constituency that, as she wrote in New Morning, was “committed to basic change.” Until then, the council had been controlled by members of the local Democratic and Republican establishments. Councilmember Hancock and her comrades were political interlopers determined to challenge the status quo. Which, her New Morning account of her first six months in office makes clear, they surely did.  

Part of the piece’s fascination lies in its enduring relevance. We’re still grappling with some of the same problems that Hancock confronted in 1971: “automobile and parking lot domination of the city”; out of control “plastic, high-rent” development; and the “undemocratic, unresponsive” city manager form of government.  

In other ways, mostly having to do with lifestyle and culture, we’re living in a very different world. That, too, comes across in Hancock’s report. No longer, for example, do the Berkeley police round up young people in the summer and drive them out of town or to Juvenile Hall.  

The piece highlights another contrast between then and now: the big difference in attitude. Today, in Berkeley as in the nation at large, democracy is on the defensive, and the liberal-progressive mood is bleak. In 1971, democrats also had plenty to bemoan. The United States was still at war in Vietnam. In Berkeley, Hancock emphasizes, she and her cohorts did not have a majority on the City Council. As she does not say, often she did not even have the support of some councilmembers whom the April Coalition helped to elect. Nevertheless, her report exudes determination and confidence. It opens and closes with the same vow: “There Will Be No Turning Back.”  

Berkeley’s civic leaders often boast about this city’s cutting edge achievements in social justice, civil rights, environmentalism and other fields of endeavor. It behooves them—and the rest of us—to remember that those achievements were initiated by a bold and visionary activist citizenry that often had to overcome great odds, not the least of which was the resistance of entrenched officials and their powerful allies outside of City Hall. Loni Hancock’s 1971 bulletin serves as a reminder of that fact and, for me, as a source of renewed resolve.  

It’s also the source of an idea that, if implemented, would brighten the local popular mood: office hours for the mayor and the council. Hancock prefaces her report proper with the announcement that on Fridays between 10 and 12, she “will definitely be around with no appointments scheduled to talk to people who want to visit … Everyone is invited to stop by and rap.”  

Whenever I’m on the fifth foor of the beautifully refurbished Civic Center Building, where the mayor and the council have their offices, I notice the excessively wide hallways, and I wonder how all that empty space could be utilized. The answer is now clear: institute open office hours for everyone, and put out comfortable chairs and couches along the walls of the corridors where people can wait for a chance to rap with (and sometimes just rap) their elected representatives. While they’re waiting, they might rap with each other about the dialectics of democracy in 2005 Berkeley and beyond.  


There Will Be No Turning Back 


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the full text of Loni Hancock’s December 1971 New Morning report.  


Even though we lack a majority of council members who are committed to basic change, the first six months has [sic] still seen us make tremendous progress in setting new directions for the city and ending many of the oppressive actions initiated or condoned by the old Council.  

In the summer of 1970 young visitors to Berkeley were victims of a wholesale roundup by the police and were driven out of the city or sent to juvenile hall. The old City Council did absolutely nothing to restrain the Berkeley Police.  

This year the new Council unanimously abolished the summer round up and detention of young people. The Council then appropriated over $6,000 to assist in the creation of two summer youth hostels, including a University dormitory.  

In a similar lifestyle discrimination, the old Council had established a ban on block parties, thus preventing a form of expression and enjoyment favored by many young people in the city. In September the new Council eliminated the ban, and several block parties have since been approved.  

Hiring discrimination against young men with beards or long hair had been the official policy of the Berkeley Police Department. These discriminatory standards were abolished by the new Council and all city employees were guaranteed the right to determine their own personal appearance.  

In addition to showing concern for individual life styles, the new Council has also demonstrated a far greater degree of environmental concern than the old Council.  

The proposal by developers to build a giant shopping center on the Marina had been vigorously opposed by citizens groups as an undesirable use of land and a surrender to the automobile. All newly elected Councilmembers had campaigned against the shopping center and the Council killed the proposal. We will now be considering alternate uses for the land which hopefully can be turned into a park.  

The Council has taken other actions against automobile and parking lot domination of the city. We rejected the proposed purchase of land for the Cedar Street Overpass and blocked a supermarket parking lot expansion that would have meant demolition of a house.  

When neighborhood residents came to the Council in opposition to a 65-unit plastic, high-rent apartment building which was planned to be squeezed onto the corner of Shattuck and Delaware, the Council met its responsibilities to the community and denied the building permit.  

Perhaps no issue has generated as much publicity as the Council’s struggle over the budget. The budget that was finally passed was, from my point of view, unsatisfactory, but it was still the best budget this community has had for years.  

This year the Chamber of Commerce didn’t get its usual $23,000 gift from the city. And the super-inflated Police Department budget, previously untouchable, was reduced by nearly $400,000. In a small attempt to re-order city priorities, funds deleted by the City Manager were restored to the Health Department and to Recreation and Parks.  

The city also started making new kinds of appropriations to organizations serving the youth community. $3,000 was unanimously allocated to the Berkeley Free Clinic and $2,400 to the Runaway Center to keep it functioning. The new Council also funded a methadone maintenance program that had been rejected by the old Council.  

This year no funds were appropriated for the Berkeley Redevelopment Agency and the city cut off all aid to the West Berkeley Industrial Park project which has been bitterly opposed by residents of the Ocean View area. Thus far there have been no demolition of Ocean View homes since the new Council took office.  

While the budget proposed by the City Manager would have meant a 40 cent increase in the property tax[,] which hits hardest at people with fixed incomes[,] the final budget passed by the Council actually provided for a small property tax decrease. It was only because of pressure from new Council members that we were able to hold the tax rate.  

The new Council has recognized that Berkeley is not isolated from the nation or the world. We passed a resolution supporting a United Nations investigation of the death of George Jackson and the conditions in California prisons. Recently the Council also went on record in support of the anti-war efforts of Coral Sea sailors, offering them city assistance and sanctuary.  

In addition to the many positive actions just mentioned, no one can know how many undesirable things we have prevented just by our presence on the Council. The day is past when the City Manager or conservative council members are even willing to propose such items as the purchase of surveillance helicopters by the police.  

What we have done so far is only a beginning. Remember that we are still plagued by the City Manager form of government, although I hope that this undemocratic, unresponsive system will not be with us much longer. In the past 6 months, the Berkeley City Council has taken the first steps towards embarking on a course of justice and service to the city’s residents. There will be no turning back.  






Column: Claudine, Johnny and the Price of Gas By SUSAN PARKER

Tuesday August 16, 2005

I hadn’t seen the Scrabblettes in several weeks. Everyone was busy so we postponed lunch and playing Scrabble together until Pearl got back from barging in France and Rose returned from ferrying among Washington’s San Juan Islands. Louise stayed home but that didn’t mean she wasn’t otherwise engaged. There was gardening to do, plays and movies to see, friends to visit, and a trip down memory lane to West Oakland with her mother. 

We gathered around the Scrabble board at Pearl’s apartment. There was a new, life-size nude statue in the living room. It was difficult to ignore. 

“French art?” I asked. 

“Yes,” said Pearl. “From a flea market in Verdun-sur-le-Doubs, a town not far from Lyon.” 

“Nice,” said Rose. “How’d you get it back here?” 

“Carried her under my arm,” answered Pearl. “She’s not heavy.” 

“Mmmmm,” commented Louise. “Interesting.” 

“Have you thought about putting some clothes on it?” asked Rose. “You know, like Gloria over there.” Rose nodded to another mannequin in the room, this one covered in beads and polyester, circa 1969. 

“Maybe,” said Pearl. “But right now I prefer Claudine Bernardette in the buff.” 

“Claudine Bernardette?” asked Rose. “Is that what you call her?” 

“Yes,” said Pearl. “In honor of our guide, Bernard.” 

We all stared at Claudine Bernardette. It was hard to believe that Pearl had dragged her across Burgundy, carried her onto a trans-Atlantic flight, and shoved her into an overhead bin. Claudine didn’t have any arms or legs, but that’s not what made her noticeable. 

“I may move her in with Eunice,” said Pearl. 

“Eunice?” I asked. 

“Eunice from Brooklyn,” Pearl explained. “I keep her in the back bedroom, but she could use some company. Or maybe I’ll bring her out here. Make it a threesome with Gloria and Claudine B.” 

“How were the San Juans?” said Louise, giving her attention to Rose and 

changing the subject. 

“Beautiful. I love it up there.” 

“And the weather?” asked Pearl. 

“Wonderful. We drank cocktails every night along the water. Manhattans, 

martinis and cosmopolitans. I’m not a boozer, but I just love those cosmos.” 

“What was the price of gas?” asked Louise. 

I groaned. Louise always wants to know gas prices around the country. “Enough with the gas,” I said. “You can't afford to drive all the way to Washington just to fill your tank.” 

“It’s $2.49 per gallon for regular right now at Costco,” said Louise, 

ignoring me. “That’s high but not as high as downtown Berkeley.” 

“Costco is always three cents less than Arco,” said Pearl. “You can depend 

on that.” 

“What about toilet paper?” asked Rose. “Did you price it while you were in 


“Stop,” I said. “Let’s not go there again.” Everyone stared at me. 

“Not go where?” asked Rose. “To Costco?” 

“No,” I said. “You know we have this toilet paper/gas conversation every time we see one another. I'm tired of it.” 

“Suzy’s right,” said Pearl. “Let's change the subject to something else.” 

“I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” said Rose. “I loved it so much, I saw it twice.” 

“Johnny Depp,” sighed Louise. 

“Yes,” said Pearl. “Those cheekbones.” 

“Those eyes,” said Rose. 

“He lives with a French woman,” said Pearl. 

“Like Claudine Bernardette,” said Rose. 

“Kind of,” said Pearl. “But better looking.” 

“Did you see Johnny Depp in that other movie about chocolate? The one where 

he lives on a barge?” I asked. 

“Like Pearl’s barge?” asked Rose. 

“Not exactly,” I said. “But yeah, a barge in France. A small town. A lot of 


“Wasn’t that set in Mexico?” asked Louise. 

“No,” I said. “That was the other chocolate movie. The one where a girl 

rides a horse.” 

“Naked,” said Pearl, finishing my sentence. 

“Like Claudine,” said Rose. 

“Exactly,” said Louise. 

“Maybe we should go back to talking about toilet paper and gas prices,” I volunteered, but no one seemed to hear me. 


Tuesday August 16, 2005

Car clout rash 

The word this week is: Watch your cars! 

Berkeley car owners reported a rash of car clouts—copspeak for auto burglaries—jumping from three on Thursday to 16 Friday, nine Saturday, and 11 Sunday. 

“From time to time an individual or two or even a group will come through,” said Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies. 

“We always encourage people not to leave their valuables in their cars, especially not in plain view. We see quite a few computers and other valuables taken, and often when they’re left in plain sight,” said Okies. 

“We recommended that people make their cars the least inviting they can to burglars by parking in well-lit areas on well-traveled streets,” he said. 

Not all the pilferage fit the precise definition of burglary—which involves breaking and entering—because several drivers forgot to lock their vehicles, the number one no-no on Okies’ list. 


Urban Ore invader 

Berkeley officers responded to an alarm at Urban Ore just after 5 a.m. Thursday, arriving to find a trespasser on the property who tried to flee before officers could lay on the handcuffs. 

His flight arrested, officers conducted a quick search and turned up burglary tools, leading to the 47-year-old fugitive’s booking on suspicion of violating three separate sections of the California Penal Code. 


Juvenile busted 

Police arrested a 16-year-old Friday morning on suspicion of stealing cash from a residence near the corner of Harrison Street and San Pablo Avenue. 


Sprechen Sie “Stickup?” 

A caller told Berkeley that she and two others had been confronted by a would-be bandit employing the hand-in-the-pocket-I’ve-got-a-gun routine near the corner of Tenth and Grayson streets about 5 a.m. Thursday. 

There was just one problem. The would-be robber and would-be victims didn’t speak the same language. 

The frustrated bandit gave up in disgust. 


Whole Foods, missing tools 

A Thursday morning visitor to the Whole Foods market at 3000 Telegraph Ave. left with something more than healthy eats. 

Workers for Sutti Construction of Burlingame called police just after 11 a.m. to report that someone had swiped some of their tools. 

Police have no suspects, said Officer Okies. 


Kragen bandit 

A heavy-set fellow sporting a beard, a raffish fedora—yes, a fedora—and a black T-shirt emblazoned with “Peace” across the chest strolled into Kragen Auto Parts at 1950 Martin Luther King Way shortly before 9 a.m. Friday and acted in a decidedly non-pacific manner. 

Producing a pistol, he demanded the contents of the till and departed. 



A driver who stopped for a sign at the corner of Fifth and Delaware streets just after 11 p.m. Sunday found herself staring into the barrel of the pistol being wielded by one of two young men standing next to her car. 

Ordered to relinquish her keys and leave the vehicle, the driver wisely complied. The robbers took the car and fled.?

Commentary: Beth El Has Exceeded Its Agreements By DANIEL MAGID

Tuesday August 16, 2005

The Live Oak Codornices Neighborhood Association (LOCCNA) has heated up its war against the members of Congregation Beth El, using misleading signs and Daily Planet letters to spread misinformation. The underlying myth that this group continually promulgates is that Congregation Beth El is moving into a new neighborhood.  

The fact is, Beth El has been a Live Oak neighbor for 60 years—longer than most if not all of the members of LOCCNA. The synagogue’s current building is closer to its new building than are the homes of many LOCCNA members. Beth El is moving a grand total of 2.5 blocks. 

The next bit of fiction, repeated once again in a Daily Planet letter by John Parman on Tuesday, is that Congregation Beth El somehow used its influence to “gain concessions that are not readily available to others.” In fact, just the opposite is true.  

Our neighborhood is zoned for a mixture of residences and community institutions. Beth El’s building conforms in every way to the zoning regulations and is being built without requiring a single variance. The synagogue also covers a significantly smaller percentage of its lot than any of our neighbors’ buildings, leaving far more green space. 

We voluntarily initiated and paid for an environmental impact report (we were not required to do so by the city), and we implemented and paid for environmental mitigations. Because we were building on our property exactly what the zoning called for, because we were in conformance with all city requirements, because our new site would actually serve to reduce our parking and traffic impact on the surrounding neighbors, because we passed the environmental impact process, our building permit should have sailed through the city approval process.  

But because LOCCNA exercised its considerable political clout, we had to endure an acrimonious three-year approval process at the end of which, we made even more concessions. I’d like Mr. Parman to show me any other Berkeley community organization that has been saddled with anything like the requirements and restrictions that have been placed on Beth El. 

We are also falsely accused of not living up to our commitment to restore the creek. The truth is that as part of our building project, the members of Beth El have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars stabilizing the banks of the creek, as we agreed. This investment was necessary due to the years of neglect by the previous owner—an owner who I’d guess would have been happy to have LOCCNA perform the work had LOCCNA’s members been willing to step up to financing the task.  

It was not until Beth El moved in that any substantial progress was made on the creek. Once construction is finished, Beth El will continue planting the creek beds because a beautiful, healthy creek has always been part of our plans. I doubt LOCCNA can identify a single property owner on Codornices Creek who has spent more private money on creek restoration than the members of Beth El. 

Beth El has gone to extreme lengths to satisfy conflicting neighborhood demands. For example, when one neighbor demanded that we remove some trees whose roots were damaging his foundation and threatened to sue, while another neighbor demanded we keep the trees as a screen, while other neighbors insisted we not remove any trees, Beth El absorbed the tens of thousands of dollars it cost to replace the trees with new ones that everyone finally accepted. 

On the Berryman Path side of our property, our neighbors want us to spend tens of thousands of dollars to build a fence that will allow people walking on the path to see the Codornices Creek. How many private landowners on Codornices Creek have been required to provide public viewing of their property? 

The latest red herring is the parking issue. LOCCNA claims that Beth El is not keeping its agreements to mitigate the parking impact it will have. Our current site—in the same neighborhood—has parking for three cars on-site and 12 parking spaces on its street frontage. 

At the new site, the members of Beth El have put in 31 parking spaces, and there are 23 parking spaces on the street frontage, for a total of 54. We have added 39 more parking spaces—more than enough for the vast majority of our events. And, very importantly, we have constructed a drive-though to greatly cut down on parking needs.  

The undeniable reality is that the increased parking spaces and driveway at the new building will considerably decrease our impact on parking and traffic in our neighborhood. This is why it is so important for LOCCNA to pretend we have not been in the neighborhood for 60 years. 

We have also arranged for alternate parking sites and have agreed to insert draconian parking messages in our event invitations. We have agreed to spend hours before, during and after our events counting empty parking spaces in the neighborhood to attempt to measure our parking impact and ensure that we do not use more than 50 percent of the spaces left unused by our neighbors and others. This means that our members might be forced to park blocks away while parking spaces near our site remain vacant throughout the event. I am sure that neighbors on the residential streets adjacent to the restaurants and stores of Solano Avenue or Walnut Square or next to some of our local event halls, schools or other community institutions would love to have concessions like that, yet they are only applied to Beth El. Unfortunately, none of this is enough for LOCCNA because they interpret our agreement to “minimize” our parking impact as an agreement to “eliminate” our parking impact. 

Meanwhile, Congregation Netivot Shalom just left its long-time residence at the Jewish Community Center on Walnut and Rose—1.5 blocks from our new site. Netivot Shalom typically drew 150 to 200 people to its services every Saturday. Beth El draws 30-40. Even on a Bar Mitzvah Saturday, we rarely approach the numbers at Netivot Shalom. So, if LOCCNA was really concerned about parking, they should be happy. Between our new spaces, the driveway and Netivot’s exodus, parking in the neighborhood will be much better, not worse.  

Sadly, none of our efforts appear to have any impact on LOCCNA. Despite the peace signs on their bumper stickers and banners, it seems LOCCNA is determined to continue its war against Beth El. 


Daniel Magid is member of Congregation Beth El’s board of directors. 


Commentary: Some Myths Are Dangerous By GERALD SCHMAVONIAN

Tuesday August 16, 2005

As a former resident of Berkeley, I and many of my friends, also Cal graduates now living in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, enjoy reading the Daily Planet online. So it was especially disheartening to read the past several issues of the Planet, and the outrageously racist, anti-Jewish and anti-Arab comments made by numerous letter writers. 

The comments ranged from the ludicrous to the insidious. Mr. Richey (Aug. 7) attacked Mr. Gertz’s skullcap as the “Funniest looking yarmulke I ever saw.” If Mr. Gertz wants to wear a lampshade on his head, that’s no one’s business but his own. 

Mr. Hardesty (Aug. 7) attacked Mr. Spitzer’s loyalty to the United States. “If you are really such a great Zionist, Spitzer, go live in Israel.” Americans have the constitutionally inherent right to verbally attack or verbally defend any nation, including Israel, without being labeled a traitor or threatened with expulsion. 

Joanna Graham (Aug. 2) writes, “1967 is demonstrably the year in which American Jews en masse converted to Zionism.” In 1967, I was a student at Cal and most of the people I knew (including Jewish-Americans) came to regard Israel in that year, not as the land of kibbutzniks skipping down the furrows hand in hand, but as a militant, racist, jingoistic state. None of them converted to Zionism “en masse.” 

Lawrence White (Aug. 5) attacks Mark Richey for his temerity as a foreigner (?) from Cotati to attack “the character of a Berkeley citizen [John Gertz].” I never realized Berkeley issued passports and had its own citizens. I believe residents of Cotati and residents of Berkeley can both be citizens of the United States. 

But Mr. White is just getting started. He then makes the claim that the thesis of a Jewish conspiracy “had the logical consequence of the murder of six million.” Does he mean that if six million were not murdered that would be an illogical consequence? Or does he mean that criticism leads to genocide when it is directed at specific groups which should, thus, be exempt from all criticism? 

Mr. White, obviously confused, then poses a number of questions which I would like to answer. He asks: “If the occupation is the problem, how come the Arabs launched three wars (1948, 1956, 1967) before the occupation began?” Mr. White perhaps subscribes to the notion that people are more apt to believe a big lie than a small one. This is a prime example of an orchestrated lie, which through countless mindful repetitions conducted with a complete disregard to the historical record begins to appear “factual.” According to all historical sources, all major encyclopedias, including the Jewish Encyclopedia, all three wars (1948, 1956, and 1967) were launched by Israel. And, to Israel, each new conquest became a new starting point for negotiation. Mr. White fails to mention the only Arab-Israeli war really launched by the Arab side was the Yom Kippur War, launched by Anwar Sadat in 1973. But Sadat never attacked Israel proper, but only the Sinai Peninsula, which was Egyptian territory that Israel had occupied a few years earlier in 1967. 

Mr. White continues “And how come the Palestine Liberation Organization was established before there was an occupation? What were they trying to liberate?” I refer Mr. White again to any major encyclopedia, including the Jewish Encyclopedia, all of which show detailed maps of the United Nations’ division of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. In the 1948 war, Israel conquered much of the proposed Palestinian state and subsequently expelled through intimidation and murder many of the local Palestinian people who were living there. That, Mr. White, is the occupation the Palestine Liberation Organization was trying to liberate. 

His next query is equally unintelligible “How come Germans don’t send suicide bombers into Poland to get back land they lost during World War II?” To remind Mr. White, Nazi Germany was the aggressor during WWII. Germany attacked and conquered Poland, not vice versus. The proper analogy would be if the Nazis had won WWII and consequently conquered and destroyed Poland, would Poles have the right to send bombers into Polish-Germany to get their nation back? And should we support those Poles or “let bygones be bygones” regarding the Holocaust? In fact, Mr. White, if the Palestinians didn’t fight against being dispossessed and dehumanized, it would be a travesty and tragedy for all free peoples. 

Next his inventive mind leaps again. This time he claims “a million Jews were forcibly expelled from Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other Arab countries.” Actually, those countries at the time, were ruled by Western-installed, pro-Western monarchies, none of which expelled any Jews to Israel. In fact, it was Israel’s policy to conduct “Magic Carpet” flights to bring Jews from all over the Middle East to Israel to populate it with Jews. The emigration was totally voluntary. British and American planes airlifted the Jews to Israel. And according to Alaska Airlines (one of the main carriers involved), the mission was accomplished without a single loss of life. 

Since Mr. White feels no imperative to cite any sources, his hare-brained fables continue unabated: “not one (Palestinian) votes in any Arab country.” In fact, Jordanian citizens of Palestinian descent do vote, as do Lebanese citizens of Palestinian descent, etc., etc. (just as American citizens of Palestinian descent may vote.) In fact, only “Israeli-citizen” Palestinians can vote in Israel, none of the four million Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank have any voting rights in Israel despite having lived under Israeli rule for two generations (38 years). Israel emulates formerly apartheid South Africa’s policy of excluding blacks from voting by saying they were “citizens” of Bantustans (tribal homelands) and legally not citizens of South Africa proper and consequently had no right to vote. This allowed apartheid South Africa to claim that it was “the only democracy on the entire continent of Africa.” Mr. White, rather than offer smug, insincere, and misleading assertions regarding the suffering of an oppressed people, do some research. To demonize the victim and portray the oppressor as the oppressed, not only requires a manipulation and distortion of history, it also takes a cruel person to perpetrate and perpetuate such a hoax. 

Rabbi Sara Shendelman (Aug. 12) encourages readers to “see both sides,” then proceeds to praise Lawrence White’s commentary “for its attempt to educate” the opposition. Posturing and exhorting “in a community that is 25 percent Jewish,” is she trying to intimidate the Daily Planet by numbers? It shouldn’t matter what percent of what the community is comprised of. True is true and untrue is untrue. Politics is a numbers game, but education should not be. The Rabbi must be leading a very insular life when she makes a blanket statement such as “We [Berkeley] are probably the most intolerant place in the U.S. when faced with a differing view.” 

John Gertz (Aug.7) demonstrates his total lack of historic knowledge by making so many ignorant and false statements that they almost defy comment. But in the interest of fairness, I will include him. He writes that Islam is the only religion spread by an army. If Mr. Gertz thinks only Islam has a bloody history of conquest, I refer him to the Old Testament. If he is unacquainted as to where to look: Check out Joshua. Also, anyone with a smattering of knowledge regarding the spread of Christianity knows that Christianity barely made any headway in its first few hundred years (only the Armenian nation had converted to the new faith). But then along came “By This Sign You Shall Conquer” Constantine. Gertz continues that Islam “is a religion that teaches that it has superseded all others.” Duh! So does Judaism, Christianity, and all other religions. It is, in fact, the very definition of any religion that it supersede all others. Otherwise, why would anyone convert? 

David Altschul (Aug. 8) asks “What governments in the Middle East allow women to drive cars, go to school, hold jobs, etc., etc….well, there’s Israel.” This duplicitous phrasing is obviously meant to mislead and deceive uninformed readers to think only Israel allows women any rights. In fact, the majority of Middle Eastern governments allow women these rights. And, interestingly, most of the ones that don’t allow women these rights are Americas’s closest friends and military allies in the region. He continues: “What government has used the schools and TV stations it controls to teach its children that the best thing they can grow up to be is a suicide bomber? The Palestinian Authority.” I challenge Mr. Altschul to prove this claim. When on the defensive, these same tired lies are always trotted out in hopes they’ll go unchallenged and through countless repetitions dupe some uninformed people. People, such as Mr. Altschul, who rely on lies to support occupation and suppression, must perpetuate stereotypes. If one oppresses people with violence, they will react with violence. That is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Lastly, people who love to bandy about terms such as Islamofacists, but are appalled at the Zionazi moniker because of the historical oppression of Jews by  

Nazis should take into account that the first peoples attacked by fascists (Mussolini) were Islamic peoples (Somalis, Eritreans, and Libyans). And just as in the case of the Jews, the world did nothing. 


Gerald Schmavonian live in Fresno. 



Commentary: West Berkeley Odors Mandate Comprehensive Tests By DAVID SCHROEDER

Tuesday August 16, 2005

On behalf of the West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs, I would like to respond to Matthew Artz’s Aug. 5 article, “City, Pacific Steel Will Study Noxious West Berkeley Odor,” and to Tom McGuire’s Aug. 9 letter to the editor about Pacific Steel’s “daily emissions of toxic effluvia,” as Mr. McGuire eloquently puts it. The West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs builds on the more than 25-year history of community action regarding Pacific Steel Casting Company’s pollution. We are everyday people in Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito and Kensington concerned about the quality of life, the impact on workers at Pacific Steel and other local businesses, the risk to children in nearby childcare centers and schools, the risks to pregnant women and their unborn, the risk to elders and those with compromised immune systems, and the danger to the environment. 

We have had experiences with the acrid burning pot handle/burning brake odor very much like Mr. McGuire’s. Some of us had the means to move out of the area, while others had to close our doors and windows, trying to coexist with the odorous pollution. Some of us experience difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, and throat/eye irritation when we are exposed to Pacific Steel’s emissions. Some of us suffer from asthma, other respiratory illnesses and cancer. 

We believe that Pacific Steel Castings and other local industries must take full responsibility for their production, keeping the air clean and jobs safe. We denounce the false dichotomy advocated by industry that we can either have job creation and economic development or we can have a safe environment. We can have both, and the financial and technical burden of this responsibility should fall to the owners and managers of industry, not to the workers, neighbors, or tax payers. We take a Keep It In My Back Yard (KIIMBY) approach, advocating for industry to be responsible employers and good neighbors. We want the facilities to stay here and clean up, keeping decent jobs local and preventing dirty industries from running away to pollute elsewhere. 

Although we were able to address the problem well over 15 years ago when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Hearing Board (at our behest) forced Pacific Steel to mitigate emissions from plants 1 and 2 (but not plant 3) with pollution control equipment, fugitive emissions continued to escape. Pacific Steel’s production has increased, and the odor is as bad as ever. Over the odor’s decades-long history, authorities have responded with too little, too late. 

We have been imploring the Air District, the City of Berkeley, and Pacific Steel to undertake a comprehensive and well-conducted Health Risk Assessment (HRA). When the Air District decided (after receiving many community odor complaints) that the HRA had to be done by Pacific Steel, the Alliance pushed the Air District and the City to improve the HRA protocols and plan. It is a perversion of our public regulatory agencies’ responsibilities to have a known violator hire its own consultants to study its own emissions. This is the job of our public regulators and the scientists we pay with public money. They should be protecting us, but are not. 

Initially, there was to be no public input in the HRA process, and data in the health risk assessment was to include 1989 statistics. However, the West Berkeley Alliance has urged the city to intervene, providing public review and requiring testing of all sources of emissions. The city has apparently been successful in getting these interventions inserted into the process, and has received assurances form Pacific Steel that they will fund additional studies not required by the Air District. Unfortunately, the Air District and the city have not solved the problem in the past and thus far have not been extremely forthcoming with initiative and information. This leaves many people in the alliance wondering if the public will ever have full access to all of the information and decision-making in the HRA process, and in the overall resolution of this problem. 

Therefore, the West Berkeley Alliance is conducting its own testing. Community members, without government or industry assistance, have been trained to use state-of-the-art air sampling devices to gather data. This testing is laborious and expensive, but provides results independent of the Air District and Pacific Steel’s consultants. 

We are still hopeful that the City of Berkeley, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and Pacific Steel Casting Company will step up and protect the health of workers and residents. The West Berkeley Alliance encourages the city to initiate a comprehensive neighborhood health survey, conducted by the county and state departments of health, with community oversight. The alliance urges the Air District to follow its regulations, to thoroughly and continuously enforce permit to operate conditions, and to constantly monitor all of Pacific Steel’s sources of emissions until the pollution problem is mitigated. We believe that on behalf of workers, the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, and Allied Workers International Local 164-B should demand that OSHA conduct a longitudinal health study of the workers’ long term and chronic health issues. Lastly, we hope Pacific Steel will protect its workers and the community by installing necessary pollution controls to eliminate all toxic and nuisance emissions. 

To reach our goals, we are educating the public about the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and how to call in odor nuisance complaints to the Air District. Any time (24 hours a day) anyone experiences an odor nuisance in the Bay Area they should call 1-800-334-6367 and make a complaint.  

We haven’t exhausted our ideas for cleaning the air and preserving safe and healthy jobs, but we are always open to public input and new members. We invite Mr. McGuire, and everyone else impacted, to join the West Berkeley Alliance: 558-8757, or westberkeleyalliance@yahoo.com. Or go to our webstie: http://westberkeleyalliance.blogspot.com for ongoing updates.  


David Schroeder is a member of the West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs. 


Commentary: How Many Diebolds to Screw Up an Election? By PETER TEICHNER

Tuesday August 16, 2005

Call me stolen-elections-hypersensitive (see 2000, then 2004) but something happened last week that perked up my vote fraud antenna and makes me wonder why no one else I know of has picked up on it. 

Two articles early last week, one by the Associated Press and one online by Guy Ashley of the Contra Costa Times, reported similar failure rates for Diebold AccuVote TSX voting machines equipped with printers during certification tests held in Stockton in late July. 

On Saturday July 30, an Associated Press article stated that they had a failure rate of 10 percent and “Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said that was too high a risk and he notified company officials in a letter sent Wednesday.” 

A few days later an online Contra Costa Times article by Guy Ashley reported that “McPherson said that Diebold machines showed a failure 

rate of about 10 percent in the tests, due mostly to unexpected screen freezes and paper jams.” 

But then on Wednesday Aug. 3, the Contra Costa Times reported that “Officials in McPherson’s office said 19 of 96 machines tested encountered problems including paper jams and screen freezes… ..” By my reckoning, 19 out of 96 constitutes about a 20 percent failure rate—double the 10 percent originally reported by Secretary of State McPherson and his office. 

When I inquired about this of Times reporter Guy Ashley, he confirmed the numbers for me. He explained in an e-mail to me that he was told (presumably by an Alameda County official) that the 10 percent figure cited by AP was low and he should check with secretary of state’s office. He did and was told that 19 of 96 computers used in the testing did have problems. 

I find it hard to believe that the Secretary of State McPherson, who happens to be a Republican, or his office would inadvertently fail to report accurately on this critically important voting rights issue which is all about accuracy of the vote count. 

If the reported figures of 19 out of 96 voting machines having failed are accurate it would appear that Secretary of State Bruce McPherson significantly misrepresented the failure rate. Then one might ask why? Does the secretary of state’s office really have such poor math skills? Or was it a deliberate attempt to gloss over and minimize Diebold’s ineptitude? 

You might say 10 percent, 20 percent what’s the difference? Well, as unacceptable as the reported 10 percent failure rate is, it is somewhat innocuous. To residents of California who are paying something approaching 10 percent sales tax it’s annoying but palatable. On the other hand, if the secretary of state’s office reported that one-fifth, or 20 percent of Diebold’s machines failed the certification tests, that could be expected to generate a heck of a lot more interest and would probably be received by the voting public the way an announced 20 percent sales tax would be.  

I cannot imagine that the secretary of state did not anticipate what reporting a 20 percent failure rate of Diebold machines would evoke from the voting public-and maybe even the lethargic media. I think given Diebold’s extensive record of voting machine irregularities and their CEO’s, now infamous, promise to “deliver the (presidential) vote” in Ohio to Republicans, it might have tipped the scales and generated an outcry that would have precluded giving Diebold another shot at demonstrating their voting machine’s un-reliability for the fast approaching upcoming elections. 

According to the July 30 AP article, Alameda County Election Commissioner Elaine Ginnold “said Diebold officials were “confident” the troubles encountered in last week’s test could be easily fixed. She is hopeful certification will be granted sometime in September.” Hmmm, well, is she now? 

Alameda County has suffered numerous under-reported problems in recent elections due to Diebold machines and now they are in negotiation for more Diebold machines. I don’t know how Ginnold can be so confident that Diebold’s 20 percent, not 10 percent, failure rate can be remedied given any amount of time. And time is running out to make changes for November elections. It should have run out a long time ago for Diebold.  

I think Alameda County should cut the proverbial umbilical cord with dysfunctional Diebold and immediately look to another more reliable, non-partisan manufacturer or simply go to hand counting ballots which they successfully do by the millions in Canada. 

I also think there may be an issue as to the independence and loyalty of Republican Secretary of State McPherson, who appears to be engaging in 

Diebold-like practices. 


For extensive background info on Diebold Corporation go to www.blackboxvoting.org. To get involved in making sure our votes count contact Voting Rights Task Force, Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, www.election-reform.us. 


Peter Teichner is a Berkeley resident. 


Arts: Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival

Tuesday August 16, 2005

“A Celebration of Latin Jazz” begins Thursday and runs through the weekend. This year’s festival will feature jazz and film, poetry, dance and food celebrating Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian music and culture. 


Anna’s Jazz Island 

2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ or 845-5515, www.annasjazzisland.com. 

Misturada, Thursday, Aug. 18, 8 p.m. $5. 

Weber Iago Trio, Friday, Aug. 19, 8 p.m. $7. 

Snake Trio, Saturday, Aug. 20, 8 p.m. $7. 

Carlos Oliveira and Brazilian Origins, Sunday, Aug. 21, 8 p.m. $5. 


Berkeley BART Station Plaza  

Shattuck Avenue between Allston and Center. Wayne Wallace and the Fourth Dimension, Thursday, Aug. 18, noon-1:30 p.m. Free. 

Marcos Silva and Intersection, Friday, Aug. 19, noon-1:30 p.m. Free. 

John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, Saturday, Aug. 20, noon-1:30 p.m. Free. 

Urban Latin Jazz Project with Special Guest Pete Escovedo, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Free. 

Latin Percussion Petting Zoo Workshop: Learn how to play Latin percussion instruments with Curt Moore, Saturday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-noon and 1:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Free. 


Berkeley Public Library  

2090 Kittredge St. 981-6241, www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org. 

Trio Paradiso, Friday, Aug. 19, 8 p.m. Free. 

Poetry by Al Young (California’s Poet Laureate), dartanyan brown, Francisco Alarcon, Lucha Corpi, Lucille Lang Day, Adam David Miller, George Davis. Saturday, Aug. 20, 4 p.m. Free. 



Ben Stolorow Duo, Aug. 19, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 

2000 Shattuck Ave. 849-0754, www.calfed.com. 


Landmark’s Act 1 & 2 

464-5980. 2128 Center St. 

Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l’chafaud). Reissue of Louis Malle’s 1958 French thriller, with jazz score by Miles Davis. Nightly shows, Friday, Aug. 19 through Thursday, Aug. 25. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday).  


Downtown Restaurant 

2102 Shattuck Ave. 649-3810, www.downtownrestaurant.com. 

Celso Alberti and Friends, Thursday, Aug. 18, 8 p.m. Prix Fixe Menu $35. 

Guitarist and Vocalist Rolando Morales, Friday, Aug. 19, 9-10 p.m.  

Que Calor, 10:15 p.m. Prix Fixe Menu $40. 

Rebeca Mauleon Sextet, Saturday, Aug. 20, 9 p.m. Prix Fixe Menu $40. 

Maria Marquez, Sunday, Aug. 21, 8 p.m. Prix Fixe Menu $35. 


Farmers’ Market  

Milvia Street between Center and Allston. 548-3333, www.ecologycenter.org. 

Jessica Neighbor and the Hoods “Cookin’ at the Market,” Saturday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 


Heyday Books 

2054 University Ave., Suite 600. 549-3564, www.heydaybooks.com. 

Poetry by Ivan Arguelles, Lucille Lang Day, Ishmael Reed, Jack and Adelle Foley, George Davis and others. Thursday, Aug. 18, 7 p.m. Free. 



2087 Addison St. 845-5373, www.jazzschool.com. 

Mimi Fox Acoustic Trio, Thursday, Aug. 18, 8-10 p.m. Free. 

John Calloway and Diaspora, Friday, 8-10 p.m. Free. 

Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge, Saturday, 8-10 p.m. Tickets $18/$15/$12. 

Jovino Santos Neto Trio, Sunday, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tickets $20. 



2181 Shattuck Ave. 843-8277, www.jupiterbeer.com. 

Cuarteto Sonondo, Friday, Aug. 19, 3-6 p.m. Free. 

Wayne Wallace Latin Big Band, Friday, Aug. 19, 8-11 p.m. 

The Rio Thing, Saturday, Aug. 20, 3-6 p.m. Free. 

Mas Cabeza, Saturday, Aug. 20, 8-11 p.m. Free. 


La Note Restaurant 

2377 Shattuck Ave. 843-1535, www.lanoterestaurant.com. 

Steve Erquiaga and Ricardo Peixoto, Thursday, Aug. 18, 8 p.m. 


Shattuck Down Low 

2284 Shattuck Ave. 548-1159. 

Fito Reynoso, Friday, Aug. 19, 10 p.m. 

Mingus Amungus, Saturday, Aug. 20 10:15 p.m. 


Arts Calendar

Tuesday August 16, 2005



The Puppet Company, “Mae Lin & the Magic Brush” at 7 p.m. at the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. 526-3720, ext. 17. 


Eyeing Nature: “Animal Attraction” with Wago Kreider in person at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Gallery Talk on “Wholly Grace” works by Susan Dunhan Feliz at noon at the Bade Museum, 1798 Scenic Ave. Free.  


Courtableu at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson at 8 p.m. Cost is $9. 525-5054.  

Adrian Gormley Group, jazz, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

The Warsaw Village Band at 8 p.m. at Lake Merrit Church, 1330 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. Tickets are $18-$20. 444-0303.  

Freight and Salvage Open Mic at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $4.50. 548-1761.  

Mike Lipskin at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Bob Schoen Quartet at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Eddie Palmieri with GIovanni Hidalgo, El Negro, Brian Lynch, and others at 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $14-$26. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Adrian Gormley Group, jazz, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Jazzschool Tuesdays at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



For Your Eyes Only: “Whip Hand” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Berkeley Poetry Slam with host Charles Ellik and Three Blind Mice, at 8:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $5-$7. 841-2082.  

Café Poetry hosted by Paradise at 7:30 p.m. at La Peña. Donation $2. 849-2568.  


Duncan James Trio at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Swingthing at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Swing dance lessons with Belinda Ricklefs at 8 p.m. Cost is $9. 525-5054.  

Whiskey Brothers, Old Time and Bluegrass at 9 p.m. at Albatross, 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473. www.albatrosspub.com 

“Joy of Jazz” with Bishop Norman Williams from the Church of John Coltrane, at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Quimbombo at 10 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low Cost is $5-$10. 548-1159.  

Falsano Baiano at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Beppe Gambetta with David Grisman at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $22.50-$23.50. 548-1761.  



“Luminance” Works by ten women artists. Reception at 6 p.m. at Giorgi Gallery, 2911 Claremont Ave.  

“Under the Influence” sculptures by artists with disabilities. Reception for the artists at 6 p.m. at NIAD Art Center, 551 23rd St. Richmond. 620-0290. www.niadart.org 

“New Visions: Introductions 2005” Reception for the artists at 6 p.m. at ProArts Gallery, 550 Second St., Oakland.  


Louis Malle: “Human, Too Human” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Ishmael Reed, Michael Shepler, Ivan Arguelles and others read from their poetry at 7 p.m. at Heyday Institute, 2054 University Ave., Suite 600. 549-3564. 

Aimee Bender, reads from her new book “Willful Creatures” at 7:30 p.m. at Pegasus Books, 2349 Shattuck Ave. 841-5139. 

Word Beat Reading Series with Robert Beck & Louis Cuneo at 7 p.m. at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave. 526-5985. 


Latin Jazz Festival: Wayne Wallace and The Fourth Dimension at noon at the Berkeley BART Station.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Celso Alberti & Friends at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Misturada at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Steve Erquiaga and Ricardo Peixoto at 8 p.m. at La Note, 2377 Shattuck Ave. 843-1535. 

Go Jimmy Go, The Uptones, Deal’s Gone Bad, ska, rock, soul, at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $8. 525-5054.  

Crooked Jades at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761.  

Montana, Plum, Astral, Tomihira at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $6. 841-2082  

Casey Neill and Hanz Araki at 7 p.m. at AK Press, 674-A 23rd St., Oakland. Cost is $5. 208-1700. 

Selector at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



Stage Door Conservatory, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at 7:30 p.m., Sat. and Sun. at 5 p.m. at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $7.50-$20. 925-798-1300. 


Bay Ensemble’s “Dancing at Lughnasa” Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 7 p.m. at Kinell Hall, behind Lutheran Church of the Cross, 1744 University Ave. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 658-8835. 

California Shakespeare Theater, “Nicholas Nickleby” Part 2 at 8 p.m. at Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., Orinda, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$55. 548-9666.  

“Livin’ Fat” Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St., Oakland, through Aug. 26. Tickets are $15-$25. 332-7125. 

The Marsh Berkeley “When God Winked” by Ron Jones. Thurs.-Sat. at 7 p.m. at the Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$22. 800-838-3006.  


Cinema in Occupied France: “La Nuit fantastique” at 7:30 p.m. and “Douce” at 9:20 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Latin Jazz Festival: John Calloway and Diaspora, lecture and demonstration at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Free. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 


Latin Jazz Festival: Marcos Silva and Intersection at noon at the Berkeley BART Station. 

Latin Jazz Festival: Ben Stolorow Duo at 4 p.m. at Citibank, 200 Shattuck Ave. 849-0754.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Weber Iago Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Steve Erquiaga and Trio Parasiso at 8 p.m. at the Berkeley Public Library. Free. 981-6241. 

Latin Jazz Festival: Wayne Wallace at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Latin Jazz Festival: Que Color at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Frito Reynoso at 9 p.m. at Shat- 

tuck Down Low. Cost is $8. 548-1159.  

Palenque, traditional Cuban music, at 9 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $12. 849-2568. 

Full Moon, Full Voice, song and chant with Betsy Rose and Francesca Genco at 7:15 p.m. at Vara Healing Arts Center, 850 Talbot St. (enter though courtyard in back), Albany. Donation $10-$15. 525-7082. 

George Kuo, Martin Pahinui, Aaron Mahi, Hawaiian music, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761.  

Vowel Movement, vocal percussion, at 8 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $10-12. 525-5054.  

Clairdee at 7 p.m. at Maxwell’s 341 13th St., Oakland. 839-6169. 

Ilene Adar and Megan Barton at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Val Esway & Mirage at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $7. 841-2082.  

Partyline, Origami, Paper Lanterns, Make Me at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $7. 525-9926. 

Eddie Palmieri with Giovanni Hidalgo, El Negro, Brian Lynch, and others at 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s through Sun. Cost is $14-$26. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



Latin Percussion Petting Zoo at the Berkeley Bart Station from 11 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 2 p.m.  


Shotgun Players, “Cyrano de Bergerac” at 4 p.m., Sat. and Sun. through Sept. 11, at John Hinkle Park, labor day perf. Sept. 5. Free with pass the hat donation after the show. 841-6500. www.shotgunplayers.org 

Oakland-East Bay Shakespeare Festival “Much Ado About Nothing” Sat. and Sun. at 4 p.m. at Lakeside Park at Lake Merritt, corner of Perkins and Bellevue, through Aug. 28. Free. 415-865-4434. www.sfshakes.org 


“Flamenco: A Personal Journey” a documentary film by Tao Ruspoli at 8 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $7. 849-2568. www.lapena.org  

Cinema in Occupied France: “Groupi Mains Rouge” at 7 p.m. and “Le Corbeau” at 9:10 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Al Young, California’s Poet Laureate, at 4 p.m. at the Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge St. 981-6241. 

Bob Baker, author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook” at 8:30 p.m. at Epic Arts Studios, 1923 Ashby Ave. Donation $5-$10. 644-2204.  

Geoff “Double G” Gallegos, founder and conductor of daKAH Hip Hip Orchestra at 1 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. free. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 


Jessica Neighbor & The Hoods “Cookin’ at the Market” at 11 a.m. at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, Center St. and MLK, Jr. Way. 548-3333. www.ecologycenter.org 

Latin Jazz Festival: Ben Stolorow Duo at 11 a.m. at Citibank, 200 Shattuck Ave. 849-0754. 

Latin Jazz Festival: John Santos and the Machete Ensemble at noon at the Berkeley BART Station.  

Latin Jazz Festival: JRay Obiedo and the Urban Latin Jazz Project at 2 p.m. at the Berkeley BART Station.  

Latin Jazz Festival: The Snake Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Latin Jazz Festival: Mas Cabeza at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Latin Jazz Festival: Rebecca Mauleon Ensemble at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Asylum Street Spankers at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $14. 841-2082. www.starryplough.com 

West African Highlife Band at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $11-$13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, roots country and west coast bluegrass, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $19.50-$20.50. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Mingus Amungus at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $10. 548-1159.  

Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge at 8 p.m. at the Jazz- 

school. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

The Fourtet Jazz Group at 9:30 p.m. at Albatross, 1822 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $3. 843-2473. www.albatrosspub.com 

Doug Blumer, singer-songwriter, at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

P.D.A., The Rosenbombs, The Dangers, The Spark at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St., an all-ages, member-run, no alcohol, no drugs, no violence club. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 



Cinema in Occupied France: “Safe Conduct” at 3 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Jazz Spoken Word Sponsored by The Jazz House at 6 p.m. at Kimball’s Carnival, 522 Second St., Oakland. Cost is $5. 415-846-9432. 


“Hip Science: The Human Body 101 Live” musical theater combining rap and hip hop and science at 3 p.m. at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St. Tickets are $7-$10. 655-8078. www.hiplearning.com 

Midnight Star at 3 p.m. at Music in the Park at Arroyo Viejo Park, 7701 Krause St., Oakland. Sponsored by Councilperson Desley Brooks. 

Ace of Spades Acoustic Series with Alela Menig, Parker Frost, Judith & Holofernes at 1 p.m. at MamaBuzz Cafe, 2318 Telegraph Ave. Oakland. Free, all ages.  

Chris Rowan and friends at 5 p.m. at Oakland Metro, 201 Broadway. Cost is $7. All ages. 763-1146. www.oaklandmetro.org  

Viviana Guzman, tango music, at 7:30 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $12. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Latin Jazz Festival: Carlos Oliveira & Brazilian Origins at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Latin Jazz Festival: Maria Marquez Quartet at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Jovino Santos Neto Trio at 4:30 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $20. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

Shweta Jhaveri, lecture and demonstration at 8 p.m., concert at 9:15 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $8-$10. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Todd Boston at 10 a.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

King of Kings, reggae, at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5-$7. 548-1159.  

Americana Unplugged with The Whiskey Brothers at 5 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



Poetry Express with Eugene David at 7 p.m. at Priya Restaurant, 2072 San Pablo Ave. berkeleypoetryexpress@yahoo.com 


Taylor’s Friends Forever, Sixes, Ultra Boyz and Universal Baltimore at 8 p.m. at 21 Grand, 416 25th St., Oakland. Cost is $5. 510-44GRAND. 

Trovatore, traditional Italian music, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave., at Dwight. 548-5198.  

Sovoso, CD release concert, at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $10-$14. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



P&T Puppet Theater, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Ave., Kensington. 524-3043. 


Eyeing Nature: “13 Lakes” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Pamela Cranston reads from “Coming to Treeline: Adirondack Poems” at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 2352 Shattuck Ave. 644-3635. 

Sara Halprin talks about “Seema’s Show: A Life on the Left” at 7:30 p.m. at Black Oak Books. 486-0698. www.blackoakbooks.com 

Riley LaShea discusses the role of women in fairytales and reads from her new novel, “Bleeding Through Kingdoms: Cinderella’s Rebellion” at 7 p.m. at Change Makers, 6536 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. 655-2405. 

The Whole Note Poetry Series with Gg and Ralph Dranow at 7 p.m. at The Beanery, 2925 College Ave., near Ashby. 549-9093. 


Tom Rigney & Flambeau at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson at 8 p.m. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Noel Jewkes Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Howard Barkan Trio, jazz, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Calvin Keys Trio, CD release concert, at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $6-$10. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Jazzschool Tuesdays, a weekly showcase of up-and-coming ensembles from Berkeley Jazzschool at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Danny Caron at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.s

If That Tree Looks Dead, It May Be a Buckeye By RON SULLIVAN Special to the Planet

Tuesday August 16, 2005

Don’t panic, folks. Those trees aren’t dying. 

Our town has a number of public California buckeye trees, some planted in medians (Sacramento Street south of University Avenue, for example) and some in privately owned visible spots: there’s a cute little buckeye on the streetside corner of Andronico’s University Avenue store’s parking lot. Right now, many of them are dropping leaves, or looking brown and sickly. Relax; it’s normal. 

When I took my first tree course ever up at Merritt, Judy Thomas told us that as practicing landscapers we were guaranteed to get this question more than once in our careers: “What’s wrong with my tree?? It’s dying! It’s shriveling up and dropping leaves and it’s only August!” To answer, first we were to find out the tree’s species, and it would probably be a native buckeye. If it was, we could reassure our panicky clients and look like heroes.  

Coastal California is a strange place to be a plant. When the days are longest, there’s no water; when it’s raining, there’s little sunshine for months on end, no matter the weather, because days are short. Plants have to cope either by doing their growing on a diet of scant sunlight or by figuring out how to grow new tissue with little or no available water. Trees in particular make a lot of themselves, of slowly, and make dense wood too, not flimsy stems.  

Back east, say, they have an easier decision. When the ground freezes in winter, that’s effectively a drought, as plants need liquid water to absorb onto their rootlets. Despite summer rainstorms, daylight gets lavished on them in the long days of summer. So they can start their drinking and growing when the ground thaws out—and it doesn’t take much thawing to kick them off, as witness New England’s sugar maples, whose sap flows when the ground is still under snow.  

In winter, northeastern trees have to conserve moisture. Evergreen conifers have small, hard needles or even scales, often with a waxy coat that keeps water in. Deciduous trees have a different solution: After pulling their chlorophyll back into their woody bits and exposing other pigments for a fall show, they just jettison their tender, vulnerable leaf tissue before the winter blasts can desiccate them, or freezing temperatures explode the cell walls—water expands when it freezes. (In a rare freeze here, I’ve seen tender succulents dissolve into sad green mush or even explode, sending shattered bits of nopales several feet into the garden. Yikes.) 

We have several native soft-leafed deciduous trees here, like bigleaf maple and red-twig dogwood. We have broadleaf evergreens like California bay laurel, and of course lots of conifers like redwood. But our buckeye is our only tree species that has reaches this particular compromise, and it makes me wonder about its evolutionary history. It’s bare in winter, and quite handsome that way, with its pale bark and sturdily graceful structure. It leafs out in spring, and flowers with subtly scented upright candles of little white blooms. Those blossoms, by the way, are toxic to honeybees, but apparently not to the various pollinators native here.  

Some of the flowers—not many—mature into hard, red-brown nuts like chestnuts but lumpier, and not edible roasted the way chestnuts are. They do have a grocery value, though—the First Peoples who lived in range used them to stun fish. No, not by conking them on the head like your little brother; by putting some of the pulp into a pond or a creek backwater. Compounds in the nut stunned the fish, who would float helplessly to the top where shoppers could pick the ones they wanted. Most of the rest would recover and swim off, presumably with a piscine hangover, and the pulp would dilute and wash away harmlessly. (A lot of things are harmless when only a few people do them.) 

Then, toward the end of summer, just before the hottest, driest days of September, when the soil is parched and things are beginning to look tired, many buckeyes let their leaves shrivel and drop. The ones that don’t usually live beside year-round creeks, or suckle at some permanent underground water source. The ones that do aren’t hurting, just doing what comes naturally.  

Berkeley This Week

Tuesday August 16, 2005


Tuesday Tilden Walkers Join a few slowpoke seniors at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot near the Little Farm for an hour or two walk. In case of questionable weather, call around 8 a.m. 215-7672, 524-9992. 

Family Story Time at 7 p.m. at the Kensington Branch Library, 61 Arlington Ave., Kensington. Free, all ages welcome. 524-3043. 

Tai Chi for Health and Long Life from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Berkeley Salon Discussion Group meets to discuss “Nature vs Nurture” from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut St. Please bring snacks and soft drinks to share. No peanuts please. 601-6690. 

American Red Cross Blood Services Volunteer Orientation from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 6230 Claremont Ave., Oakland. Volunteers are needed to support the more than 40 blood drives held each month all over the East Bay. Advance sign-up needed 594-5165. 

Brainstormer Weekly Pub Quiz every Tuesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Pyramid Alehouse Brewery, 901 Gilman St. 528-9880. 

Berkeley Camera Club meets at 7:30 p.m., at the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda. Share your digital images, slides and prints and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 548-3991. www.berkeleycameraclub.org 

St. John’s Prime Timers meets at 9:30 a.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave. Diana Bohn will show the video titled “The Road to Hope” which she made with Potters for Peace, at 11 a.m. 845-6830. 


Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters welcomes curious guests and new members at 7:15 a.m. at Au Coquelet Cafe, 2000 University Ave. at Milvia. 435-5863.  

Entrepreneurs Networking at 8 a.m. at A’Cuppa Tea, 3202 College Ave. at Alcatraz. Cost is $5. 562-9431.  

Come Spot Come Total recall training for your dog at 6:30 p.m. at Rabbitears, 303 Arlington Ave. Cost is $35, registration required. 525-6155. 

Walking Tour of Historic Oakland Churches and Temples Meet at 10 a.m. at the front of the First Presbyterian Church at 2619 Broadway. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. www. 


Stitch ‘n Bitch Bring your knitting, crocheting and other handcrafts from 6 to 9 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198. 

Kundalini Yoga for All Ages at 2:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Walk Berkeley for Seniors meets at 9:30 a.m. at the Sea Breeze Market, just west of the I-80 overpass. Everyone is welcome, wear comfortable shoes. 548-9840. 

The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club provides free instruction every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at 2270 Action St. 841-2174.  

Sing your Way Home A free sing-a-long at 4:30 p.m. every Wed. at the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. 526-3720. 

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at 6:30 p.m. the Berkeley BART Station. www.geocities.com/ 



San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 7 p.m. at Lakeside Park, Lakeside Drive at Lake Merritt, Oakland. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 

EarthTeam’s Annual Teachers’ Lunch High school and middle school teachers interested in environmental curriculum are invited to this luncheon featuring speakers, Q&A, student video projects, and curriculum materials offered by non-profits. At 11:30 a.m. at First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, entrance on Dana. Free for teachers, $12 for others. RSVP to 655-6658. 

“No More Boring Lunches” A talk on how to prepare quick and easy lunches that are nutritionally sound and delicious, at 7 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Simplicity Forum “Home Grown Dairy Products in Berkeley” with Jim Montgomery of Green Faerie Farm in Berkeley, at 6:30 p.m. at Berkeley Public Library, Claremont Branch, 2940 Benvenue Ave. 549-3509. www.simpleliving.net 

Volunteer Outreach Workshop for the UC Botanical Garden at 4 p.m. at 200 Centennial Drive. Free, but registration suggested. 643-1924. 

Waterwise Gardening Tour at 1:30 p.m. at the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. Cost is $5. 643-2755. http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu 

Arts and Crafts Cooperative, Inc. (ACCI) Seconds Sale from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Aug. 21 at 1652 Shattuck Ave. 843-2527. 


Conscientious Projector Film Series “The Future of Food” at 7 p.m. at Fellowship Hall, Cedar and Bonita. Discussion to follow with Prof. Ignacio Chapela. 528-5403. 

Arts and Crafts Cooperative, Inc. (ACCI) Seconds Sale from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Aug. 21 at 1652 Shattuck Ave. 843-2527. 

Berkeley Chess Club meets Fridays at 8 p.m. at the East Bay Chess Club, 1940 Virginia St. Players at all levels are welcome. 845-1041. 

Women in Black Vigil, from noon to 1 p.m. at UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph. wibberkeley@yahoo.com 548-6310, 845-1143. 

Meditation, Peace Vigil and Dialogue, gather at noon on the grass close to the West Entrance to UC Berkeley, on Oxford St. near University Ave. People of all traditions are welcome to join us. Sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. 655-6169. www.bpf.org 


Berkeley Path Wanderers in Joaquin Miller Park, where Joaquin Miller, “Poet of the Sierras,” lived from 1886 to 1913, planting today’s redwood groves and building fanciful monuments. Meet at 10 a.m. at the ranger station. From Rt. 13, take Joaquin Miller Rd. uphill 1 mi to Sanford; go left (north) to the Ranger Station. Bring water and snack for this moderate hike. 549-2908. www.berkeleypaths.org 

Introduction to Bio-intensive Gardening We will discuss and give hands-on demonstrations of garden design and planning, hand cultivation of vegetable, flower and fruit garden beds, home composting and soil management, seedling propagation and transplanting, and more. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Grandma Mary’s Organic Farm near the El Cerrito Plaza Bart station. Bring a bag lunch and cup for refreshments. Cost is $60. 707-367-2567. plant_veggies@yahoo.com 

Chabot Space and Science Center Anniversary with festivities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sat. and to 4 p.m. on Sun. 336-7300. www.chabotspace.org 

Walking Tour of Old Oakland “New Era/New Politics” highlights African-American leaders who have made their mark on Oakland. Meet at 10 a.m. at the African American Museum and Library at 659 14th St. 238-3234. www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours  

Richmond Seedlings and “Weedlings” Join a fun group of volunteers to transplant seedlings in our native plant nursery, and pull a few “weedlings” to help with the restoration of West Stege Marsh. From 9 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration required; youth under 18 will need a waiver signed by their parent or guardian. Sponsored by the Watershed Project. 665-3645. www.thewatershedproject.org 

Kid’s Garden Club for ages 7-12 to explore the world of gardening, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Park. Cost is $5-$7, registration required. 525-2233. 

“The Global Backyard: Nature, Fire Safety and Green Materials” a slide show and talk with Robin Freeman, Chair of the Merritt College Environmental Program, at 4:30 p.m. at Rabbitears, 303 Arlington Ave. $20 suggested donation. 525-6155. 

Brooks Island Voyage Paddle the rising tide across the Richmond Harbor Channel to Brooks Island. For experienced boaters who can provide their own canoe or kayak, and safety gear. For ages 14 and up. Cost is $20-$23. 636-1684. 

Berkeley Cybersalon with Dave Winer, author of Scripting News, inventor of RSS, progenitor of podcasting, and host of the OPML Roadshow, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St. Dinner is from 8:30 to whenever. Cost for dinner is $20.  

Garage Sale to benefit the Northbrae Community Church, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 941 The Alameda. Items include furniture, kitchenware, china, toys, car seats, children’s clothes, electronics, and many, many books. 526-3805.  

“What Girls Should Know About Puberty” with Mary Arnold, women’s health nurse practitioner, for girls ages 8-14 accompanied by an adult, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hall of Health, 2230 Shattuck, lower level. Cost is $50 per child. Registration required. 595-3814. 

Historical and Botanical Tour of Chapel of the Chimes, a Julia Morgan landmark, at 10 a.m. at 4499 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley. Reservations required 228-3207. 

Oakland Outdoor Cinema “Some Like it Hot” at 8 p.m. on Washington St. between 9th and 10th Sts. Limited seating, bring chairs and blankets. 238-4734. www.filmoakland.com 

Free Garden Tours at Regional Parks Botanic Garden Sat. and Sun. at 2 pm. Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Tilden Park. Call to confirm. 841-8732. www.nativeplants.org 

Oakland Heritage Alliance Walking Tour of the Oakland Point. Cost is $5-$10. For details call 763-9218. www.oaklandheritage.org 

“Heal Your Back, Straighten Your Spine” with Jay Bunker, chiropractor, at 3 p.m. at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, 1744 Solano Ave. 527-8929. 

Free Help with Computers at the El Cerrito Library to learn about email, searching the web, the library’s online databases, or basic word processing. Workshops held on Sat. a.m. at 6510 Stockton Ave., El Cerrito. Registration required. 526-7512.  


Guided Trails Challenge Hike at Point Pinole from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to discover this area’s explosive and peaceful past. For information call 525-2233. 

Bay Trail Exploration A nine-mile afternoon stroll from downtown Oakland to the Coliseum to see wetlands, waterfronts and community art, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Greenbelt Alliance. For information call 415-543-6771, ext. 321. www.greeneblt.org 

Honoring Father Bill O’Donnell with guest speaker Dolores Huerta at 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St. Sponsored by Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action. 658-2467. www.berkeleyboca.org 

Social Action Forum with Virginia Handley, a lobbyist for animals, at 9:30 a.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. 525-0302, ext. 306. 

Tibetan Lama and Filmmaker Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche will speak at 7 p.m. at the Malonga Center, 1428 Alice St., Oakland. Benefits New Dharma Meditation Center and UrbanPEACE. Tickets are $20. 547-3733. www.newdharma.com  

Music in the Park at Arroyo Viejo Park with Midnight Star at 3 p.m. at 7701 Krause St., Oakland. Sponsored by Councilperson Desley Brooks. 

Hands-on Bike Maintenance Learn how to do a bicycle safety inspection at 10 a.m. at REI, 1338 San Pablo Ave. Bring your bike and tools. 527-4140. 

Bike Tour of Oakland A leisurely-paced tour covering the history of Oakland. Meet at 10 a.m. at the 10th St. entrance of the Oakland Museum of California. Registration required, 238-3514. 

“Hip Science: The Human Body 101 Live” musical theater combining rap and hip hop and science at 3 p.m. at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St. Tickets are $7-$10. 655-8078. www.hiplearning.com 

Wolfin’ Down Books, a summer reading program finale celebration for children and families from noon to 4 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California. Cost is $5-$8. 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace Peace walk around the lake every Sun. Meet at 3 p.m. at the colonnade at the NE end of the lake. 763-8712. lmno4p.org 


Sufi Teaching and Zikr presented by M.T.O.Shahmaghsoudi at 7 p.m. at the M.T.O. Center, 2855 Telegraph Ave., Suite 101. RSVP to 704-1888. 

Stress Less with Hypnosis A free seminar at 6:30 p.m. in Oakland. Registration required. 465-2524. 

Berkeley CopWatch organizational meeting at 8 p.m. at 2022 Blake St. Join us to work on current issues around police misconduct. Volunteers needed. For information call 548-0425. 


Peace at the Berkeley Bowl: Workers Agree To Two-Year Labor Contract By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 12, 2005

The Berkeley Bowl signed a two-year contract with its workers Sunday, ending a divisive labor standoff at the popular supermarket. 

Employees voted 107-13 to approve the contract that will lower wages for newly hired cashiers, but give raises for most other positions in the store. 

The contract will not apply to a second Berkeley Bowl planned to open in West Berkeley. 

“It’s awesome to see the contract finally done,” said Daniel Hague, a cashier, who had been active in the effort to unionize the store. “Now we have the groundwork to fight for our interests.” 

Berkeley Bowl General Manager Dan Kataoka declined to comment on the contract. Neither the Bowl nor the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Butcher’s Union Local 120 would release the contract. 

Hague said that cashiers hired after the contract signing would have their pay capped at $13 an hour. Current cashiers, many of who top out at around $20 an hour, won’t face a pay cut. 

Berkeley Bowl cashiers received big raises two years ago, Hague said, both to bring the store in line with salaries offered by other local supermarkets and to persuade cashiers to oppose the store’s union drive. 

But since Berkeley Bowl cashiers received salary hikes, the supermarket industry has seen new labor contracts that have reduced cashier salaries. 

“This puts us more in line with the industry standard,” Hague said. 

Besides salary, the contract lays out procedures for employee promotions, raises, and discipline proceedings, Hague said. Workers had charged that the family-run store had no structure for dealing with personnel issues and often arbitrarily rewarded and punished employees. 

“My issue was favoritism,” said Culyon Garrison, a security guard at the store. “Those they liked got promotions and those they didn’t like got treated like crap.” 

“Now we can review our boss and transfer departments a lot more easily,” Hague said. 

The contract signing ends a two-year union drive that divided the store. In 2003, Bowl employees voted 119 to 70 to reject the union.  

The National Labor Relations Board then issued a complaint against the store for illegally pressuring workers to vote against the union effort. Rather than contesting the ruling, Berkeley Bowl agreed to recognize the union without a formal employee vote. 

The bowl was also compelled to reach cash settlements with two employees fired during the union drive, Arturo Perez and Chuck McNally. 

Hague said that despite overwhelming support for the contract, the union fight had divided workers. He said he didn’t know if given a second vote on forming the union, if the employees would back it. 

“It’s been pretty weird around here,” he said. “Now I think people can come together again.” 

City Councilmember Kriss Worthington said that labor law prevented the union from demanding that its contract transfer to a new Berkeley Bowl. Bowl management could have chosen to transfer the contract to the new store if it is built, but opted not to do so, Worthington said. 

This is actually the second time Berkeley Bowl workers have signed a union contract. Bowl employees were represented by the Retail Clerks Union from the store’s founding in 1977 until workers rejected the union in 1986. 




Cop Killing CaseEnds in Dismissal By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 12, 2005

One day after Berkeley police arrested a retired Oakland high school teacher for the 1970 murder of a Berkeley policeman, the Alameda County district attorney’s office refused to press charges. 

William DuBois, the Oakland attorney representing Styles Pr ice, 56, said “They decided they were not going to press charges because they had insufficient evidence.” 

Price was arrested at his home Wednesday morning, and a second suspect, Don Juan Warren Graphenreed, was arrested by Berkeley officers in Corcoran State Prison, where he is serving time for a burglary conviction. 

DuBois said charges are still pending against Graphenreed. 

Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies said Thursday evening that the department hadn’t received notice of the dismissal. 

“Our investigators worked very hard, and clearly they had enough evidence to convince a judge to issue arrest warrants,” Okies said. 

“But the district attorney’s office has its own standards, and if they chose not to issue charges, then it was probably because they felt they didn’t have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said. 

A warrant was also issued for a third suspect, the alleged “look-out,” who remains at large. 

DuBois said Price had contacted him over a year ago and asked him to conduct h is own investigation “because he was very upset with the allegations and the search of his home. We could not find a scintilla of evidence that he had committed this crime.” 

Okies said the investigation had revealed that Price was the man who killed Offi cer Ronald Tsukamoto, while Graphenreed was the driver. 

DuBois dismissed the claim. “He’s a very peaceable, peace-loving guy,” said the lawyer. “I’m sure he’s very relieved. No one wants to be charged with a crime, especially the murder of a police offic e, much less a crime committed 35 years ago.” 

The April 20, 1970 murder was Berkeley’s first and only cop killing. 

Tsukamato, the city’s first Asian American officer, was gunned down after he made a routine traffic stop at 1 a.m. of a motorcylist who wa s to be the only witness to the murder. 

He had worn the badge only 10 months at the time of the shooting. The basic facts of the crime are clear. 

While Tsukamoto was ticketing the motorcyclist for making an illegal U-turn, a man in a long, dark coat wal ked up. After the two talked for a moment, that man in the coat pulled out a pistol and fired two rounds. One missed, but the other pierced the officer’s eye, killing him instantly. 


The suspects 

Wednesday marked Graphenreed’s second arrest for the crime. 

On May 24, 2004, police arrested him in the Fresno County Jail, where he was being held on burglary charges prior to the trial that landed him in Corcoran. 

At the time, law enforcement sources attributed the killing to Graphenreed’s efforts to raise h is standing with the Black Panthers. He spent only two days in the city lockup before the district attorney’s office ordered his release. 

Two more arrests followed three weeks later, when Berkeley officers arrested two Oakland sisters as accessories in the murder. Assistant District Attorney Jacobson refused to press charges, and the pair was released three days later. 

Officers had presented insufficient evidence in all three cases, Jacobson said. 

Wednesday was the first time Price’s name had surfaced publicly in connection with the case. 

After Graphenreed’s first arrest, police linked the crime to the Black Panther Party, which at the time of the crime had been in a state of war with law enforcement. 

Shortly after the murder, then-Berkeley Police Ch ief Bruce Barker blamed the Panthers and other militants for inciting the mentally disturbed to violence, but did not directly accuse them of plotting or carrying out the killing. 

DuBois acknowledged that police had conducted a thorough investigation, “T hey worked hard, and I know that they have some evidence that suggests some connection between the people arrested and the crime—especially with Grapheneed.” 


The investigation 

“The arrests were made after a three-year investigation. New leads were deve loped and new evidence gathered, and old evidence was reexamined with modern technology,” Okies had said earlier Thursday before the announcement that the charges has been dropped against Price. “Both were booked on no-bail charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.” 

The investigation was conducted by Lt. Russell Lopes, a retired officer who returned to duty to handle the investigation. 

Adding to the complexity of the case is that fact that there are no longer any living witnesses to the murder. 



The victim 

The slain officer was born on July 29, 1942, in an internment camp—the Tule Lake Segregation Center northeast of Fresno, where his parents were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans, two thirds of them citizens, interned on the order s of President Franklin D. Roosevelt five months earlier. 

On their release, the expanded family moved to Berkeley, where Tsukamoto graduated from Berkeley High School in 1960. His brother Gary, still a Berkeley resident, said at the time of Graphenreed’s first arrest that Ronald had always wanted to become a policeman. 

After attending Contra Costa City College, he went on to graduate from San Jose State University, joining the Berkeley Police Department, where he became the first Asian American to wear the badge. 

The city honored the slain officer in 2000 by naming the city’s new Public Safety Building in his honor. 

No Charges Filed Yet in Firearms Case By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 12, 2005

No criminal charges have yet been filed against a Berkeley man arrested three weeks ago after police and firefighters discovered a massive cache of firearms and an indoor marijuana-growing operation in his apartment above an Adeline Street liquor store. 

Though police booked Leslie Tanigawa, 45, on suspicion of marijuana and firearms crimes, Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies said the district attorney’s office had not pressed charges. 

“I don’t know why,” said Okies. 

A representative of the district attorney’s office said Deputy DA John Adams had elected not to file charges, but could not say why. Adams is on vacation until Aug. 16. 

Inside the apartment, firefighters and police discovered scores of firearms, including a .50-caliber sniper rifle, assault rifles, pistols and a machine gun. 

Tanigawa was released on bail after the arrest, said Marti McKee, public information officer for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). 

McKee said no federal charges had been filed, in part because the ATF’s East Coast Firearms Technology Laboratory is still examining the seized weapons and explosives. 

Although a preliminary examination after the arrest indicated that some of the weapons were fully automatic, a violation of federal law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office normally seeks an indictment only after examination and test-firing. 

The same lab is also examining the explosives—so-called “loud reports” used in aerial fireworks displays—to verify that they are in fact functional devices. 

“It’s a formal process, and it can take a while because the agency has a heavy caseload,” she said. 



Waterfront Development Frays Albany Council By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 12, 2005

When the Albany City Council adjourned around midnight Monday, most councilmembers stayed around to chat, but Robert Lieber headed straight for the door. 

It had just been another four-hour brawl and Lieber was once again at the center of it. 

Councilmember Allan Maris had proposed limiting councilmembers, namely Lieber, from freely placing items on council agendas. The council rejected Maris’ proposals, but not before Maris accused Lieber of lying to the press and sending public e-mails distorting Maris’ position. 

“Those letters were inappropriate, false and inflammatory,” Maris said. 

Long meetings and heated debates are not the norm in Albany, where consensus has generally been the rule. In 2002 three current councilmembers cross-endorsed one another even though they were running for just two open seats. 

But that was before Lieber joined the council at the end of last year and the Magna Corporation, owner of Golden Gate Fields, started lobbying to turn a large chunk of the Albany Waterfront into an 800,000-square-foot shopping mall. 

“Everything that’s going on now with the council is about Rick Caruso’s development plans for the race track,” Lieber said. 

With its local horse-racing business floundering, Magna has brought in Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso to develop the 45-acre parking lot surrounding Golden Gates Fields into an upscale, outdoor shopping mall. 

Such a development is anathema to the local Sierra Club and Citizens for an Eastshore State Park. Those groups want nearly the entire property as the final piece to an eight-mile-long state park, and just like most Albany officials, they don’t expect Magna to keep its track around much longer. Magna, meanwhile, continues to insist that they have no intention of closing the track. 

Golden Gates Field was for years a money-maker for Magna and a top sales tax producer for Albany. However, the declining popularity of horse racing and the rise of nearby casinos have taken a bite out of casino profits. And the introduction of off-track and computer betting have cut into Albany’s sales tax revenue, said Councilmember Farid Javendel.  

Under Albany law, the proposed development at the site must be approved by city voters and Magna has begun a lobbying blitz. Led by Matt Middlebrook, the former deputy mayor of Los Angeles and now a top executive at the media relations firm of Fleischmann-Hilliard, Magna has been sponsoring informal tea sessions with residents to gather community input and drum up support for the development. 

Middlebrook said that Caruso planned to unveil initial drawings of the development within 60 days and that the plans would take into account residents’ wish for open space. 

“As we’ve been meeting with the community it’s clear that people are interested in having access to the waterfront,” he said. “We’re looking to mix in as much of that as we can.” 

The five-member council is split on a waterfront mall. Lieber and Mayor Robert Good, both Sierra Club members, oppose a shopping center. Councilmembers Maris and Jewel Okawashi have expressed a willingness to consider Magna’s proposal. Javandel, also a Sierra Club member, favors a small development that could help pay for the city to take on additional park land. 

Maris said that he supports “a realistic amount of park land while respecting the private property rights to the track owner.” 

Good is planning a proposal calling for developing half of the site for single-family homes and the rest into park land. 

Javandel said, “Revenue is important for a number of reasons. A new waterfront park will be a drain on city revenues. We have to have some development to cover those expenses.”  

In June the council will ask property owners to pay an extra $145 per year to pay for building projects and social programs.  

Lieber has taken the strongest stand in favor of the park.  

“I really don’t want to see a mega-mall down there,” he said. “If we do this right it could be the jewel of Eastshore State Park.” 

But in opposing the development, Lieber has made enemies on the council. At a June meeting he placed an item on the agenda calling for the council to review a private poll showing 60 percent of Albany residents opposed a waterfront mall. 

Several of Lieber’s colleagues complained that they didn’t have a chance to review the poll, conducted by the Evans/McDonough Company of Oakland, until the start of the council meeting and they were unprepared to discuss the matter or deal with dozens of project supporters, who took aim at Lieber and the poll. 

That meeting went past midnight, and the council had to hold off on several agenda items because of the late hour. 

“The consensus [on the council] started breaking down visibly when the poll came along,” said Mayor Good. “It was just a little poll, but people got hysterical about it.” 

Lieber has continued voicing his opposition to the development. At the following council meeting he proposed a resolution calling for the city to prevent any development on the Magna site until after it shut down the race track. The proposal died when no councilmember seconded it. 

Maris responded with a proposal of his own. To prevent another episode like the debate over the waterfront poll, he proposed requiring councilmembers to announce future agenda items at the prior meeting. He also suggested that councilmembers be required to prepare detailed reports for their agenda items and allow councilmembers to carry over items that didn’t have adequate reports or weren’t noticed at the prior meeting. 

“Lieber is a new councilmember with very little experience,” Maris said. “I’m just trying to improve the quality of his speech so it’s in an appropriate format for other councilmembers to consider.” 

Maris said he was also angry with Lieber for a series of e-mails he sent suggesting that Maris was behind a more restrictive proposal that would have required a request from two councilmembers to put items on the agenda. Maris and City Manager Beth Pollard insist the proposal came from city staff, not Maris. 

“I think the council is having trouble adjusting to a political situation where it isn’t a consensus,” said Lieber. “For years the council was all of one mind. The only reason that’s changing is that there are issues now like the waterfront that are getting new people involved.” 

Javandel said that the Maris proposal, which he supported, was purely a time-management issue. 

“I don’t think this is connected to the waterfront,” he said. “We’ve had trouble finishing our meetings lately and I want to make sure we do things in a timely manner.” 

Javandel added that Lieber, “seems overly willing to view himself as the target of the council. It wasn’t the way I saw it.” 

In Lieber’s defense, Mayor Good said, “There are some things I don’t like about Lieber, but he may be the only one on the council who knows what democracy is about. They’re trying to prevent unpopular items from getting on the agenda, but there is a contradiction between that and democracy.” 

At Monday’s council meeting Javandel reintroduced Maris’ call to require councilmembers to give notice about agenda items at the prior meeting. It appeared it might pass until the public spoke against the proposal. 

“You’re just tying your own hands,” said Bill Dann. “You don’t want to do this because of one meeting two months ago.” 

Javandel then revised his proposal so that the councilmembers were asked to, but not required to, announce future agenda items at the prior meeting. The council passed it 4-1. Lieber, the lone dissenting vote, said later he voted no on political grounds, but didn’t think the resolution would make a big difference. 

For the Albany City Council, the waterfont issue is far from over. Good said a staff report on revenues from the Magna property was scheduled to come before the council at its second meeting in September. 

“Everyone and his dog will want to speak out that night,” he said. 


Landmarks Commission Casts Wary Eye on 740 Heinz Plans By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 12, 2005

Berkeley Landmarks Preservation commissioners raised new questions about the fate of a vacant West Berkeley warehouse Monday night, which is potentially bad news for developers. 

Wareham Properties, a major developer of office/industrial space in Berkeley and throughout the Bay Area, wants to demolish the landmark structure at 740 Heinz Ave. and replace it with a five-story, 105,800-square-foot laboratory and manufacturing building. 

It certainly didn’t help their case that Darrell de Tienne, who is developing the project for Wareham, failed to appear for the hearing. When he finally did show at 9:24 p.m., nearly two hours after the meeting began and after the hearing had closed, the commission basically ignored his presence. 

The developer’s ears should have been burning by then, considering the criticisms and suspicions voiced earlier in the evening. 

First to speak was John Shea, a resident of the adjacent live/work Durkee Building at 800 Heinz Ave., who questioned why city staff didn’t require a study of how the new structure, called the Garr Building, would overshadow their own landmark building. 

LPC Chair Jill Korte joined in the call for shadow studies, adding “I really have a lot of questions.” 

Light is a crucial issue for many of the painters and other artists who live in one of a dwindling number of affordable live/work buildings in Berkeley. 

Korte noted that Wareham had avoided the need for shadow studies by changing a property line with other property they owned because the adjusted line had been shifted in relation to the 800 Heinz building in a way that eliminated the legal trigger requiring a shadow study. 

City planning staffer Giselle Sorensen said the move was legal and not that unusual. 

Commissioner Carrie Olson said she’d been approached by a member of the public who voiced concerns that the owner of the Copra Warehouse was unsure what was happening. 

“People were very confused,” said LPC member Robert Johnson. “I was very surprised.” 

Korte said she was particularly concerned that the fate of a Berkeley landmark had been discussed in private meetings with Mayor Tom Bates and the city attorney’s office before it was presented to the LPC, which had bestowed the designation. 

The LPC chair asked, “Is there was some agreement that would put this development on a track that ruled out” a rigorous analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?” 

“I just hope there is no backroom dealing going on,” Korte said. “I just don’t want to see a development agreement develop behind closed doors that will prevent this commission from looking at preservation alternatives.” 

Indeed, Korte said she had so many questions that only a full CEQA environmental impact report could address them all. “As is, I couldn’t approve this project, not in the context of neighboring buildings that are landmarked, or of itself. This is frustrating.” 

“This is one of the great industrial buildings still standing in Berkeley,” said Leslie Emmington, the commission’s most outspoken preservationist, calling the Garr’s existing structures “one of the irreplaceable assets of West Berkeley.” 

Emmington said that “somebody at City Hall, or us preferably, should look for some creative help so we don’t demolish this building. Many buildings we’ve saved we’ve been told couldn’t be saved.” 

“We’ve been bombarded since a year ago that this building was about to fall down,” LPC member Robert Johnson said. “We’ve been bombarded from one side, and now I’m kind of confused where the truth is.” 

Johnson observed that the existing structure is seismically unsafe, built of unreinforced masonry incapable of meeting basic structural requirements without significant work. He also noted that building owner Kathleen Garr had signed an agreement with Darrell de Tienne and Richard Robbins to develop the property. 

“The question is, what do we do with the demolition? The point is to ask for alternatives,” he said. 

The LPC had appointed a committee to work with de Tienne on the project, “but it hasn’t met since last October because de Tienne didn’t like the way it was going,” said Korte. 

Olson said she lacked confidence in the developer, “given my experience with this applicant.” 

Sorensen said the commission “can’t take formal action to require an environmental review,” adding that the LPC’s concerns “are all legitimate questions.” 

“Why can’t we just ask for alternatives without an EIR?” LPC member James Samuels asked. 

“We have asked for alternatives, but there’s resistance in that direction,” said Korte. 

“I certainly hope there hasn’t been any back-room dealing,” Commissioner Patricia Dacey said, adding that during the last LPC meeting on the project Garr was weeping. “She said she was frightened. It seemed to me she was afraid of Mr. de Tienne.” 

“Something very strange is going on,” said Johnson. 

In the end, the LPC voted to close the hearing and forward their concerns to city staff. 

Sorensen said that when the commission takes up the project again, he “will strongly suggest to Mr. de Tienne that he appear.” 

Reached at his San Francisco office Thursday afternoon, de Tienne said he shared the commission’s concerns about the shadow study and impacts and dismissed allegations that he may have intimidated Garr. 

“I knew her husband, I know her and her children. I’ve walked her to her car. I don’t think I’ve intimidated her. That’s giving me a lot more credit than I deserve,” he said. 

De Tienne said he was all for conducting a shadow study and hiring a consultant to look at the project’s impact on other buildings and landmarks in the area. 

“I asked [Planning Director] Dan Marks if I should hire someone, but he said no, because it would entail conducting a peer review,” he said. “I then asked him if he could recommend someone, but I received no reply. 

“It all goes back to [city] planning.” 


Other projects 

Developer Roy Nee and his architect won high praise from the commission when they previewed his plans to renovate the Shattuck Hotel, perhaps the flagship of downtown landmarks. 

Nee has teamed up with leading hotelier Starwood Hotels on a project that will transform the structure into a high-end hotel that will operate under the company’s Westin brand as the Berkeley Westin. 

“This is a very wonderful project,” Samuels said. “It’s exciting that you’re doing it as a whole block.” 

“I’m very excited about this project,” Korte said. 

The commission voted to create an ad hoc subcommittee to work with Nee and his architect as the project develops. 

Commissioners voiced skepticism and concerns about another project, the three-way shuffle that would move the landmarked Ellen Blood House at 2526 Durant Ave. and the John Woolley House at 2509 Haste St. to a third parcel just south of Peoples’ Park. 

The moves would pave the way for major Telegraph area multi-story mixed use projects, one at Telegraph and Haste and the other at the site of the Blood House. 

Commissioner Winkel described the shuffle as “an interlocking Rubik’s Cube,” and Korte said she didn’t see how the commission could take up each project separately, since each was completely dependent on the other. 

The panel took no formal action.

Work to Begin Monday On Seagate Building By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 12, 2005

The first stages of construction on what was once called the Seagate Building will begin Monday, said project developer Darrell de Tienne. 

The site and plans for the nine-story building on Center Street were sold May 18 to SNK Captec Arpeggio, LLC, a joint venture corporation between an Arizona builder and a Michigan financial company. 

The project will feature eight floors of up-scale condominiums built atop a ground floor that will include rehearsal space for the Berkeley Repertory Theater, a public art gallery and at least one commercial use. 

The same partnership is also involved in a 102-unit residential and ground floor commercial project in Emeryville on the site of the bankrupt King Midas Card Club on San Pablo Avenue and an adjoining 263-car parking structure. 

Renamed The Arpeggio, the structure will rise midway in the block just west of Shattuck Avenue. 

De Tienne said workers will begin by removing asbestos from the existing structures on the site, a necessary step before full demolition and construction can commence. 

“We hope to begin the actual construction in a month,” he said, adding that two months would be the absolute limit. 

Berkeley Teachers Have Fun in the Summertime By CASSIE NORTON

Friday August 12, 2005

Summertime provides school teachers with an opportunity that most professionals don’t have—three months to do whatever they want. 

Of course it’s never that simple; many teachers have second jobs during the summer months to supplement the income of a public school teacher, while others take required classes to complete credential requirements and to stay current in their fields. 

But there are many teachers who use June, July and August in much the same way their students do. They travel to exotic places or just to the next state, spend time with their families, read the new Harry Potter book and generally relax.  

For Berkeley High teachers Matt Fritzinger and Nat Lewis, summer is the time to pursue the things they love out of the classroom. 

For Fritzinger, summer is the time of year when he can devote himself full-time to the NorCal Mountain Bike Series, which he founded four years ago. He has shifted to teaching part-time to serve as executive director of the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League. 

In his second year at Berkeley High, Fritzinger started a mountain biking club, called the Soaring Ducks, and in 2001 he opened a summer biking camp with three kids. This year 60 children took part in the camp. 

“The programs have grown over the years, and teaching has sort of fallen by the wayside,” he said. 

Fritzinger said he created the NorCal Mountain Bike Series to provide an outlet for competitive high school mountain biking clubs and teams. According to their website, in the first series mountain bikers from schools all over Northern California came “to compete as semi-organized high school teams.” 

Now over a dozen schools offer riding programs that operate much like traditional high school sports, participating in a season consisting of six races plus winter and summer riding camps. The league, and Fritzinger, are seeking new teams. 

Lewis, a friend of Fritzinger’s and a colleague in the school’s math department, spends his summer in a somewhat more traditional way for a teacher. 

“I relax,” he said. “The school year is so packed with stuff—I get up, go to school, come home, make dinner, put the kids to bed, go to bed myself and then go to school again.” 

For him, summer is a time to spend with his girls, ages 6 and 8, and with his wife, Nydia McGregor, a graduate student at UC Berkeley. 

It’s also a time to pursue his art. Lewis has been working with found objects for over 15 years and has had several gallery shows in Sacramento. His garage/studio overflows with pieces both finished and not and all the accouterments.  

“I work with mechanical parts, mostly. I like to take apart old typewriters,” he said. “Berkeley is a fun place to be, because people leave bric-a-brac by the side of the road. I’m one of those people who goes digging through your trash to find my treasures.” 

He also uses his spare time to practice the guitar he plays with Angel Band. The group plays mostly bluegrass and early American folk music, Lewis said. 

It’s not all relaxing in the park and strumming the guitar, though. Lewis said he sometimes feels like he’s still working part-time, taking classes to meet advanced credential requirements, meeting with UC Berkeley professors to rework his curriculum and consulting with a textbook company. 

But the work doesn’t get in the way of the fun. 

“I read the latest Harry Potter book, which sort of forced me to slow down. And then I read the previous three,” he said. 

KPFA Staff File Charges Against General Manager By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 12, 2005

Eight female KPFA employees filed sexual harassment complaints against station General Manager Roy Campanella II Thursday, alleging that Campanella asked them out on dates and retaliated against employees who refused his advances. 

KPFA Training Co-Director Rain Geesler said in a prepared statement that Campanella asked her out within weeks of his being hired last year. Lemlem Rijio said in a press release that when she rebuffed Campanella’s inappropriate behavior he “started to retaliate against me daily with threats of termination, harassment, slander, as well as hostile and discriminatory treatment.” 

Campanella, reached by telephone Thursday, said, “None of my actions have violated any laws.” He added that he was ready to work “openly and honestly with all of [his] co-workers.” 

The KPFA Local Station Board has scheduled a closed-door meeting this Sunday to determine Campanella’s future with the station. 

“I find [the complaint] very disturbing because we have an internal process for redressing this situation and we haven’t finished that process,” said Board Member Chandra Hauptman. 

The employees filed their complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which will now investigate the matter. If the DFEH substantiates the complaints, it has the power to file suit against the station and award damages to the eight plaintiffs, said Bill Harvey, Secretary Treasurer of the Communications Workers of America. 

Harvey said the plaintiffs chose to take their complaint before the DFEH because the department lacked the authority to threaten the station’s license. Had the women taken their complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Harvey said, the commission could have opted to seek termination of KPFA’s broadcast license. 

“This is an effort to resolve the matter while keeping KPFA healthy,” he said. 

If Campanella stays, Lisa Ballard, the station’s webmaster and union shop steward, warned of wide-scale employee resignations. “I cannot imagine working here if he sticks around,” she said. 

The complaint comes after KPFA conducted two investigations into the allegations and declined so far to take disciplinary action against Campanella, Harvey said. An investigation by the local station board has not been released publicly. 

According to a press release by the plaintiffs, women at KPFA who turned down Campanella’s advances were retaliated against through “public belittlement, threats to cut funding, criticism of their work to supervisors, slander and threats of termination.” 

Campanella reaffirmed Thursday that while he may have asked employees—men and women—to movies, they were never meant as dates. He also said he planned to remain at KPFA. 

Harvey said the plaintiffs would likely rescind their complaint if Campanella stepped down. All eight plaintiffs continue to work at the station.  

In July, 70 out of 300 paid and unpaid KPFA staff signed a letter of no confidence in Campanella. The sharply divided local station board has so far not recommended Campanella’s dismissal to acting Pacifica Foundation Executive director Ambrose Lane. 

KPFA-Berkeley is one of the Pacifica’s Foundation’s five community stations. 

One board faction maintains that station staff have embarked on a power grab and they question if the sexual harassment complaint is tool to strengthen their position, according to Program Council member Stan Woods. 

“I’m very skeptical about the whole move to get rid of Campanella,” Woods said. “I think it has a lot more to do with the [morning schedule] than with the purported reasons being given.” 

In addition to the complaint filed by the eight female employees, the union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over an incident last May when the union said Campanella threatened to assault Hard Knock Radio Executive Producer Weyland Southon. 




Hospital Panel Says Major Issues Remain at Alta Bates By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 12, 2005

Though the shaky accreditation status of the Alta Bates-Summit hospitals has been upgraded one level, the hospitals have a lot to do before they can win a clean bill of health. 

That’s the word Thursday from JCAHO—the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations. 

Without accreditation by the private agency, the Alta Bates-Summit hospitals in Berkeley and Oakland can’t received federal payments for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients, often a big share of hospital revenues. 

In a survey released in November, JCAHO issued a preliminary denial of accreditation, which placed the hospitals on notice that they would lose accreditation unless major changes were made. 

In a review released earlier this month, the organization raised the hospitals’ status to conditional approval. 

“The Joint Commission will conduct a special follow-up survey in four to six months,” said JCAHO spokesperson Mark Forstneger. “The report will be issued two to four weeks after the survey is completed.” 

While JCAHO ruled that the hospital had corrected four of the deficiencies uncovered in the 2004 survey, they said the majority of findings had still not been corrected. 

The unresolved issues include insuring that: 

• Patients with comparable needs receive the same standard of care, treatment, and services throughout the hospital. 

• Informed consent is obtained. 

• Patient-specific information is readily accessible to those involved in the medication management system. 

• Medications are properly and safely stored throughout the organization. 

• Medication orders are written clearly and transcribed accurately.  

• All prescriptions or medication orders are reviewed for appropriateness.  

• The hospital responds appropriately to actual or potential adverse drug events and medication errors. 

• The hospital defines in writing the time frame(s) for conducting the initial assessment(s). 

• Any use of restraint is initiated pursuant to either an individual order or an approved protocol, the use of which is authorized by an individual order. 

• Operative or other procedures and/or the administration of moderate or deep sedation or anesthesia are planned.  

• The hospital takes action to prevent or reduce the risk of nosocomial (hospital caused) infections in patients, staff, and those who come into the organization. 

• The hospital has a complete and accurate medical record for every patient assessed or treated. 

• Designated qualified personnel accept and transcribe verbal orders from authorized individuals. 

In the case of long-term care patients, the hospitals must insure: 

• The resident receives education and training specific to the resident's needs and as appropriate to the care, treatment, and services provided.  

• Pain is assessed in all long-term care residents. 

The four allegations removed last Friday were: 

• Managing drugs returned to the hospitals’ pharmacies. 

• Assessing pain in all short-term care patients. 

• Developing plans for the care, treatment and provision of services in accordance with the patient’s needs, strengths, limitations, goals, and 

• Placing time limits on verbal or written orders to restrain or isolate patients.›

Federal Labor Board Readies Complaint Against Alta Bates By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 12, 2005

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has authorized complaints against Alta Bates hospitals charging that they illegally locked out workers following a one-day strike. 

NLRB Field Attorney Micah Berul said Thursday that the hospitals will still have time to work out a settlement with members of United Health Care West (UHCW), which represents hospitals, including the Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs). 

Berul said there’s one issue left to be resolved before formal charges are filed: the union’s allegations that all the hospitals owned by Sacramento-based Sutter Health should be regarded as a single employer for the sake of labor negotiations. 

That charge had been held in abeyance while the NLRB investigated the lockout, and has now been reopened for investigation, Berul said. 

If no settlement on the lockout is reached by the time the board finishes its single employer investigation, the board will file formal charges that will be resolved in a hearing conducted by an administrative law judge, he said. 

“The lockout issue can be settled between the parties at any time until then,” Berul said. “If we didn’t have the other issue, charges would have been filed within two weeks of the board’s decision,” which was announced in an April 8 letter to the hospitals and the union. 

The hospitals can be held liable for the four days of lost wages, plus interest, said the attorney. A resolution would require a cease-and-desist order against the hospitals to block similar actions in the future, and the hospitals would be required to post notices of the NLRB findings. 

UCHW media spokesperson Thea Lavin said Sutter Health employees lost millions of dollars in wages in the lockout. 

In a statement issued to hospital employees Thursday, Mark Beiting, vice president of Human Resources for Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, said that the union had filed “at least 29 charges of ‘unfair labor practice’ against our medical center.” 

He said 23 had already been dropped by the union or dismissed by the NLRB, leaving six issues to be resolved. 

“To date, NLRB investigators have not issued a single government complaint against the medical center on any of those charges, nor has our medical center been forced to settle any of these charges,” he said.›

Marin Avenue Re-Striping Plan Delayed Until Early October By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 12, 2005

A plan to eliminate two traffic lanes on Marin Avenue has been delayed until early October because Albany couldn’t find a single contractor to both re-stripe the street and make needed repairs to the asphalt. 

Originally Albany and Berkeley had planned to re-stripe a section of Marin Avenue this month, when traffic on the busy thoroughfare was light and the two nearby elementary schools were on summer vacation. 

But when Albany put its portion of the project out to bid in June, no contractor made an offer, said Ann Chaney, Albany’s community development director. She said contractors were unsure they could complete the job by the August deadline requested by the city. 

To get the project moving forward, Albany is retaining several contractors to re-stripe the avenue and make repairs to Albany’s portion of the street. Berkeley decided to only re-stripe its section of Marin Avenue, and has already selected a contractor to do the work. 

The project calls for eliminating two of the four traffic lanes and adding a middle turning lane and two bicycle lanes. It is hoped that the new configuration will reduce car speeds and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Opponents of the project worried that it would increase commute times and force motorists onto side-streets. 

At Monday’s Albany City Council meeting two residents called on the council to delay the project for fear that the road work started after Labor Day would snarl traffic and endanger school children crossing Marin Avenue. 

Chaney said that at least one lane of traffic in each direction will be open at all times during construction, which is expected to last two weeks.Ã

Public Library Will Restore Sunday Operating Hours By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 12, 2005

The Berkeley Public Library main branch is planning to open again on Sunday afternoons starting at the end of September, Library Director Jackie Griffin told the Daily Planet in a phone interview. 

The Library Board of Trustees is scheduled to consider the proposal at its meeting next month. 

Last July as a cost-saving measure the library was forced to close on Sundays and reduce evening hours. As recently as last May reopening the main branch on Sundays seemed too costly, but in June the City Council voted to raise the library tax by more than 5 percent with a directive to restore Sunday hours. 

An informal library poll found that a majority of patrons favored opening the main branch from 12 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Griffin, however, said that a six-hour day would be difficult to staff. She prefers the 1-5 p.m. schedule with the option to restore two additional hours during weeknight evenings if the library can afford it. 

Since most library users on Sundays are students, Griffin said, the library would also consider closing on Sundays during summer months to provide more evening hours. 

Until July 2004, Berkeley Library branches had been closed and the main branch had been open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. 




School Fair to Highlight Public and Charter Choices By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday August 12, 2005

Looking to reduce what the Alameda County Office of Education has called the “antipathy” between public charter schools and public school districts, two Berkeley-based educators have organized a cooperative public and charter school fair this weekend in Emeryville for representatives of both types of schools to present their programs to prospective students. 

The “New Schools, New Visions” school fair will be held this Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Emery Secondary School, 1100 47th St. in Emeryville. Admission is free of charge to parents and students, who will be able to visit booths operated by more than 15 public and charter schools in the Bay Area. Representatives of local youth support agencies and organizations will also be present, and child care for small children will be available. 

A forum on potential collaboration and cooperation between public and charter schools will be held with Alameda County School Superintendent Sheila Jordan, Emery Unified School District Superintendent Tony Smith, and Oasis Charter High School Director John Oubre. 

The fair is the brainchild of Berkeley residents Wanda Stewart and Marissa Saunders, and is being co-sponsored by the Emery Unified School District and Oasis Charter High School in Oakland. Stewart is the president of the Berkeley PTA Council and the coordinator of Recruitment, Outreach and Retention Services at Emery Unified. Saunders is the Student and Family Support Coordinator at Oasis, a hundred student downtown Oakland charter school geared towards students who have been unsuccessful in traditional public schools, or have been out of high school for a while and want to return. 

“The idea of a joint school recruitment fair comes out of the private boarding school world, where I came from as a school recruiter,” Stewart said. “A number of schools who had been in competition for students decided that when we worked collectively, we could reach more students. So we formed the Western Boarding Schools Association to make joint presentations, and we had unspoken agreements where we would refer a student to other association schools if we found that student was not appropriate for our school. The parents loved what we were doing, and it ended up working out well for everybody.” 

Both Stewart and Saunders agreed that such a collaboration will be more difficult between school districts and charter schools, which are in a fierce battle all across California for Average Daily Attendance money from the state. 

“Sometimes we as educators lose sight of the bigger goal, which is to ensure that each student is successful,” Saunders said. “Politics and finances often take priority over more important things. The mindset of the two types of schools has to change.” 

“I don’t know of any school that has enough money,” Stewart added. “We could continue to fight over scarce resources, or we can refuse to be pitted against each other and pool those resources and work together to expand the available money. It means we are all going to have to be more flexible, and we are going to have to have some hard conversations. We’re creating a new type of education system—who knows exactly what will come out?” 

Both women gave credit to Alameda County School Superintendent Sheila Jordan for helping to begin a public-charter dialogue in the area. Last October, Jordan put together a Charter School Policy Task Force to study the issue. Last June, the task force released a report entitled “How Can We Reduce Conflict Between Charter Schools and School Districts?” recommending areas of cooperation between the two types of schools. Jordan is expected to present the recommendations to the Alameda County Board of Education and to local school boards in the county this fall. 

“It was a powerful thing when Jordan stepped up and said she is going to support a collaboration between public and charter schools,” Stewart said. “It was only a few years before, when charters were first being introduced, that she was indicating that she didn’t like them. But a lot of that has changed since then.”

BUSD Financial Director Leaves For Private Sector By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday August 12, 2005

Berkeley Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Glenston Thompson has voluntarily left his job with the district after one year to return to the private sector. His last day was Aug. 3. 

Thompson served as director of the district’s fiscal operations, responsible for both developing and managing BUSD’s budget. 

Last November, after only three months on the job, he developed a refinancing program for BUSD’s three 1992 Measure A general obligation bonds that was expected to save the district $3.2 million over the next 20 years. At the time, Thompson downplayed his role in the idea, saying that the bond refinancing was merely part of “being good stewards and good decision-makers over the use of the district’s financial assets. I’m just glad to be able to do my part as a member of the BUSD team.” 

Superintendent Michele Lawrence is expected to present a candidate for Thompson’s replacement to the BUSD Board of Directors at the board’s first meeting after the month-long summer break on Aug. 24. 

Neither Thompson nor Lawrence was available for comment.›

UC Regents Committee to Discuss University’s Investment Finances By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday August 12, 2005

While rising student fees and allocations from the state budget get the bulk of attention at meetings of the University of California Board of Regents, some of the real work of UC financing will be going on next week when the UC Regents’ Committee on Investments and Investment Advisory Committee meet to discuss the management of the university’s portfolio. 

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 1:30 p.m. in Los Angeles, with a teleconference location on the UCSF-Laurel Heights campus, 3333 California St. in San Francisco. Live audio broadcasts are also available on several formats, with download information available at the regents’ website. 

Listed on the public agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is the university’s quarterly investment performance summary and the external equity manager search as well as recommended changes for the annual incentive plan. The quarterly investment performance summary report and the treasurer’s report on the university’s fiscal year 2005 annual incentive plan will be discussed in closed session. 

At stake is the management of the $42 billion University of California Retirement Plan and the university system’s $8.8 billion defined contribution plans’ funds, $7.7 billion short term investment pool, and $5.2 billion general endowment pool.›

Albany Briefs By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 12, 2005

St. Mary’s gets reprieve 

One month after voting to prohibit St. Mary’s High School from using a disputed portion of its campus, the council reversed course this week, calling for school officials and neighborhood leaders to once again try to find a solution to the local turf battle. 

“There has to be a better solution than the one we’ve come up with here,” said Councilmember Jewel Okawachi. 

Albany has limited St. Mary’s size to no more than 90,675 square feet. Five years ago the school built a new hall with the understanding that it would then demolish 2,380 square feet of space, consisting of a band pavilion, snack bar and classrooms. 

But the school never demolished the buildings and last month, the council voted to prevent Saint Mary’s from using the space until the school presented a master plan for the entire campus. 

Saint Mary’s provided new information in recent weeks demonstrating that the closure would hurt students and leave the school with no soundproof building for band rehearsals. The school’s arguments swayed the council.  

“I don’t want to do something where everybody loses and I see that being the case right now by closing the band pavilion,” Councilmember Farid Javandel said. 

After further meetings this month between the school and the Peralta Park Neighborhood Association, the council will hold a new public hearing on Saint Mary’s in September. 


Albany tax measure heading for June ballot 

The Albany City Council approved putting a $145-per-residential unit parcel tax on the June 2006 ballot. 

The tax is anticipated to raise $1 million a year for capital projects like renovating the city’s veterans’ building as well as for youth programs, street maintenance, library services and park maintenance. 

Several councilmembers ex-pressed a preference for putting the initiative on the ballot this November. But at the urging of Mayor Robert Good, a council majority opted for the June ballot so that it wouldn’t risk taking votes away from a tax hike proposal that Albany’s Board of Education is placing on the November ballot.?

Editorial Cartoon By JUSTIN DEFREITAS

Friday August 12, 2005


Letters to the Editor

Friday August 12, 2005


Editors, Daily Planet: 

John Koenigshofer is wrong to say that “No right turn on red light” signs reduce pedestrian safety (Letters, Aug. 9).  

Most drivers making a right turn at a red light glide right through the crosswalk, looking to their left to see if cars are coming but not looking to their right to see if pedestrians are coming.  

I was once almost hit when I was crossing Cedar Street at Shattuck Avenue on the green light. Someone was barreling down Cedar at high speed, went right through the crosswalk just looking to his left, slowed down just enough so he could stop if he saw traffic coming from the left, and made a right turn without ever stopping for the red light. He never even saw that I was in the crosswalk just to his right and that he missed me by inches.  

This is an extreme case, but anyone who walks in Berkeley has had the experience of being afraid to cross on a green light because a driver who wants to make a right turn on the red is just looking to his left for cars, not looking both ways for pedestrians.  

If we want to make Berkeley safer and more comfortable for pedestrians, the city should keep putting up “No right turn on red light” signs at dangerous intersections.  

Charles Siegel 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I would like to invite all Berkeley citizens to join the striking Berkeley Honda workers and their supporters at a rally this Saturday, Aug. 13, between 1 and 2 p.m., in front of the dealership at Shattuck and Parker. You are also encouraged to join the picket line any time between 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Our continuing presence is having a very damaging effect on Berkeley Honda’s business, but we need to keep up the pressure. 

If you can’t picket, you can write letters to the dealership (2600 Shattuck, Berkeley 94704) and to your local papers; if you can’t write letters, you can call the dealership (843-3704); and if you can’t manage any of those things, you can still do the most important thing of all: take your business elsewhere until Berkeley Honda settles with the union. 

We have the opportunity to make a real difference in the outcome of this strike, and to stand up for the values so many of us in Berkeley profess to believe in. This will entail some inconvenience; doing the right thing usually does. 

It may take a while to make our point. The new owners at Berkeley Honda are stubborn, and they are calculating that before long, the tide will reverse and they will gradually rebuild their customer base. And we can assume that anti-labor businesses throughout the country, who reserve a special contempt for Berkeley, are cheering them on. 

Let’s disappoint them all. Let’s win. 

Judy Shelton 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

In the Daily Planet issue of July 22-25, I read of a giant cache of weapons; high-powered rifles, and even machine guns found by accident by firemen in Berkeley. Yes, machine guns in Berkeley! 

In the same week, in your paper, I read the story of the young woman in Berkeley shot and killed by her friend. 

To me these stories were of such importance that I thought there would be further coverage by your paper supplying more information such as the following: 

Who owned those weapons? How did they get into Berkeley? Who has been arrested and charged with what? So far nothing further has been reported.  

And with regard to the Willis- Starbuck girl the only follow-up story I read was a very brief account saying that the boy who shot her had not been found and that some unidentified person alleged that the girl asked her friend “to bring the heat.” 

Surely by now other eye witnesses to the shooting have been found and your paper could report on just what was said that led the girl to call for help and what University football players (if any) were involved. 

These stories in my opinion are more important than the size of some tomato plant in a backyard of Berkeley which is the front-page story of the weekend edition of Aug. 5-8. 

Max Macks 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a giant black hole of money and energy that robs from our ability to address other pressing issues. As an American Jew, I resent having to spend so much time not letting establishment American Jewish organizations speak in my name.  

I further resent how Israeli occupation policies are corrupting the Jewish communities, religious or otherwise, in this country and making Israel an unlivable pioneer fort on the prairie. Yes, I too would like other issues to be addressed by the Peace and Justice Commission, but given how absolutely the U.S. and Israel are intertwined, this is a pipe dream.  

Sadly, Thom Seaton’s stew of defensive and ill-informed finger-pointing bodes ill for the direction of the Peace and Justice Commission. He asks about Rwanda and Darfur, why not the same for these disasters as for Israeli and Palestine? He disingenuously asks why his resolution for investigating the deaths of all Americans in Israel and Palestine is so different than calling for the examination of Rachel Corrie’s murder specifically? The implication is that everything is like everything else, therefore what? Let’s not examine anything or examine everything. Either way, the idea is to exhaust any efforts to examine something specific. And why examine Israel and Palestine specifically?  

Well, as Tony Judt said in a recent New York Review of Books article, and I paraphrase, “When you fancy yourself as a modern western democracy, asking why others are not examining Sudan or Morroco, is hardly edifying,” particularly when this self-proclaimed democracy is heinously occupying another people.  

When this heinous occupation is, further, being funded to the tune of around $3 billion, economic and military aid, by U.S. taxpayers yearly, (we are not even talking about indirect aid, loan guarantees, trade agreements that might add another %5 billion or so a year) things begin to clear up. Israel is almost like a 51st state in terms of its relationship to the U.S. How much are we supporting Sudan this year? Morocco? Everything is not the same, the relationship between Israel and Palestine is the relationship between prison guards and prisoners.  

Rachel Corrie was killed by the organized Israeli military carrying out a policy that is, in no little part, funded by the U.S. Can the same be said for para-military attacks by disparate Palestinian factions without any central command? What would be the point of such an investigation? Would the U.S. give less money to Hamas? Islamic Jihad, or perhaps more money to Israel? Can the same U.S. support be shown for the Sudanese government or the Hutu genociders? Again, no one is arguing that these things are really sucky bad, but we can argue about how much we might be able to actually do about any particular situation.  

Thus when Seaton asks why should we look mostly to U.S. supported states this seems almost like a Monty Python skit question, imagine that. I’m saying this slowly ... because those are the states we can most influence. I know, I know, this is passe, and I should be all hot and riled about Cuba and everywhere else that the U.S. likes to hate, but I will not let Seaton, Gertz or others try to confuse what is relatively simple, shall we review: The occupation is the root problem, unalloyed U.S. support (the only super power) necessarily will focus attention on Israel, Israel itself calls attention to itself as the “only democracy in the middle east” and our tax dollars feed this terrible situation. If Seaton or Gertz can make similar claims, as if they actually care, for any other peace and justice scenario, have at it.  

Robert Lipton 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

A. Charlene Matthews’ comments in the Aug. 9-11 issue angered me greatly. The only question that remains unanswerable, Ms. Matthews, is why are guns the national totem and why are so few people in this country willing to give them up?  

For your information as well, if you call 911 from a cell phone, you get the CHP. Your comments reflect an attitude that blames the victim. Perhaps the only thing Meleia did wrong was to trust the wrong man, and who hasn’t done that? I have no idea what you mean by “these types of problems,” but I suggest that you consider a forum to discuss the disgusting availability of guns in this society. 

Batiya Jacobs 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

In response to A. Charlene Matthews’ letter regarding the death of Meleia Willis-Starbuck, and many other similar commentaries, I would like to say that I am getting tired of this line of questioning. As a friend of Meleia’s, it only adds salt to the wound of losing a friend to hear people attempt to blame her in her own death. Not only is it ludicrous to blame the victim, but it is entirely unrealistic to believe that the police would pay any mind to a phone call reporting disrespectful young men. Judging from my own experiences, the police would have brushed her off and come to the scene far later, if they came at all. I have heard and read all kinds of commentary on the death of a friend and yet hardly any of it has been about the real issues. Why is no one talking about the presence of guns in the streets and the ease with which they can be accessed? What about gun control? Why is no one concerned about the way men treat women? It has gotten to the point where many young women feel physically threatened simply walking down the street, why is this OK? What about the fact that many young people see violence as their only way of solving conflict?  

I don’t see the point in attempting to blame a dead victim, because this line of reasoning does not change the facts of the case nor will it prevent this type of crime from reoccurring. We need to look at and take action on the core issues: gun control, violence among young people (much of which is directed at women), and finally the attitude of some young men who feel that it is their right and privileged to disrespect women—which is an act of violence in and of itself.  

For more information about gun violence, please go to www.bradycampaign.org and www.millionmommarch.org  

Sarah Fong 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am responding to the “Little Rock Redux” commentary in the Aug. 5 Daily Planet. In this letter, Ms. Haynes Sanstad compares the ongoing dispute between Beth El and concerned neighbors, and the resulting yard signs, to the civil rights struggle of Little Rock in the 1950s. Sanstad, as an African American Jew, speaks of the impact on her children who pass by these yard signs and feel threatened and unwanted in this neighborhood. She implores her children to “hold their heads high.” 

That Sanstad would compare the dispute over the development of Beth El in a residential neighborhood to the events of tle Rock belittles the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement sought an end to Jim Crow racial subordination backed by a web of state laws, intense public hostility, and physical violence intended to terrify. Little Rock ultimately required federal troops. Sanstad’s comparison casts Beth El as a victim of neighbors motivated primarily by racial bigotry or group antipathy. 

As a neighborhood member who has a yard sign in front of my house, my intent is to inform the community, including the congregants of Beth El, that the leadership of that institution has not acted in good faith in drafting a parking plan that addresses our concerns and that the parking plans recently submitted to the city do not reflect or respect an agreement that Beth El signed with concerned representatives of this community. The yard signs serve to bring public attention to what has been a long and hard fought battle to have Beth El rework the proposed parking plan. The signs call for Beth El to “honor their agreements.” 

It is inflammatory nonsense to interpret this as an effort motivated by racism and anti-Semitism instead of valid neighborhood concerns. Sanstad, as a member of Beth El’s board, should not resort to such hyperbole. It imperils civil conversation, much less productive discourse. I would hope that Beth El would publicly reject the implications intended by Sanstad. 

Perhaps Sanstad should reframe the lessons she teaches her children as they walk Oxford, past my home. She should talk to them about the importance of hood discourse, of community planning, of consideration and respect for neighbors and their concerns. She should tell them that many of the members of LOCCNA, the community group that has negotiated with Beth El, are themselves Jewish. That often, within any community, valid disagreements arise. What she certainly can not claim is that this has been a battle to integrate and bring civil rights to an oppressed and subordinated group of people in the Berkeley Hills. If she has any doubt, may I suggest the family rent Eyes on the Prize and compare the experience. 

Deborah Drickersen Cortez 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Your readers should know that the toll house cookies at Nabolom are really good! 

Alice Jorgensen 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Why I’m not boycotting Walgreens: I ride a bicycle. 

Now that all the car fascists have turned away I’ll give the rest of you a few hints. Although most of Walgreens stuff is cheap crap and the deceptive ads and bait and switch routines are annoying, you can still get vitamins and milk a lot cheaper than either the Bowling Alley, Holier than thou Foods, or Mafia’s R Us. And you should never buy anything that is not on sale, they don’t deserve it. 

Now that the yuppies have turned away, I guess I’ll keep riding the bike until the Save Ourselves From Ourselves fascists make it illegal to ride sans helmet, airbag, and whatever else they deem necessary. Of course then I’ll just start driving my diesel. Now before all you MTBE eco-morons go crying to mommy you should know I’ve already installed a diesel catalytic converter (already made mandatory in Europe) that makes it cleaner than most of the guzzelene driven cars out there. On yet another tangent it should be reiterated that you get more miles per barrel of oil from a diesel which means the terrorists whether they be psuedo-muslim or “christian” (and you know who you are) have less money to blow things up. Oh yeah I’ll still be going to Walgreens and parking at the Bowling alley just to annoy them all. Rant done ... for now. 

Carl Max 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I’m writing in support of the proposed ballot initiative to lower the voting age to 17 for School Board elections in Berkeley. It seems that opposition to this proposal centers around the basic fallacy that 17-year-olds, in their puerile ignorance, will simply mimic the opinions and votes of their parents and teachers. As a Berkeley teacher for the past 23 years, I’ve met very few of these aforementioned lemmings. Instead, I’ve been blessed with students who are informed, intelligent, and open-minded. 

These are the people with the best first hand knowledge of the challenges our schools face as well as potential solutions to problems. They are more than entitled to vote for trustees whose decisions directly impact them. The Daily Planet is saturated with the bombast of pundits offering their remedies for what ails Berkeley youth. Try empowerment. All of us may learn something. 

Tim Moellering 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

It’s very interesting how, when challenged, the Zionists always illustrate the old Arab proverb: “The excuse is worse than the crime.” 

Thom Seaton, echoing Zorro, brags about how he tried to justify the murder of Rachel Corrie on the City Council. Then he brags about his friendship with the U.S.-funded Cuban resistance, known for blowing up civilian Cuban airliners. Not satisfied with that self-exposure, he then brags about his support for the murderous occupation of Iraq. 

I can see why a Jewish person like Joanna Graham would wonder how far such people would go, when they don’t hesitate to advertise their support for all this violence. 

Clearly Thom has not the slightest interest in supporting peace anywhere. 

Mark Richey 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

Unusual Sights 

The posters BART has borrowed from London urging riders‚ to be “Bomb Detectors” and play a part in the so-called war on terror may only serve to keep its riders uneasy. 

Destruction by fanatics like McVeigh is uncommon; suicide is not normal no matter who does it or what their motive; terrorist acts however frequent are by their nature extraordinary. When President Bush insists that a struggle against violent extremists is really a war he effectively normalized the abnormal.  

Before anyone take the action given on the poster they should understand the enabling condition. The poster tells what to do “If you see something unusual.” Presumably hearing, smelling or feeling something unusual is OK. It also implies that it’s okay if you see anything uncommon, abnormal, extraordinary or simply something you’ve never seen before you can just ignore it. You only have to take steps if it’s unusual.  

The inanity of the poster rests on the obvious fact that what you see as unusual may very well appear to your neighbor as familiar and entirely harmless.  

When the unusual is in the eye of the beholder, terrorism wins. 

Marvin Chachere 

San Pablo 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Thom Seaton’s well-intentioned defense of his tenure on Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission overlooks several salient points. First, he assumes that the singular anti-Israel focus of the commission’s resolutions is inconsistent with a true liberal or progressive vision of fair and impartial conflict resolution. In fact, regarding the expulsion of Jews as a necessity to achieve peace has a long and respectable intellectual pedigree in progressive circles. Indeed, one of our own most illustrious native daughters, a Jew by heritage, a pioneer of contemporary lesbianism and surely a progressive icon for all times, Gertrude Stein, once employed this exact line of reasoning in proposing that Adolf Hitler deserved the Noble Peace Prize: 

“I say that Hitler ought to have the peace prize because he is removing all elements of contest and struggle from Germany. By driving out the Jews and the democratic and Left element, he is driving out everything that conduces to activity. That means peace.” (New York Times Magazine, May 6, 1934). 

From all accounts, Stein lived comfortably through the years of the Nazi occupation of France, often extolling the leader of the Vichy government, Marshal Petain, as a George Washington-like figure, as many progressives, Jewish or otherwise, today proudly view Yassir Arafat as a point of cogent comparison. 

Yet there is a deeper point at play here. The whole concept of a small city Peace and Justice Commission really is the love child of a certain species of Leftist politics left over from the 1960s and now reaching a characteristically immature middle-age. In many ways, the Peace and Justice Commission represents a peculiar fusion of old time Quaker-like pacifism with au courant multi-cultural Universalism. Face it, Thom, this is their baby, their first-born, their pride and joy, hence they must assume the privileged role of the Nomenklatura in all its resolutions. As the Dr. Frankensteins of Peace and Justice, there is an axiomatic correlation between the opinions of the commission’s progenitors and fellow travelers and the very meaning of the terms “peace and justice.” It’s simply not open to question or rational analysis and Thom wastes his valuable time in any attempt to do so. 

In fact, in the last analysis, isn’t the whole Peace and Justice Commission a sort of theater of the absurd at its core, a sophomoric Model United Nations for gray beards, where Bambi takes on and defeats Godzilla, where simpleminded early childhood make-believe morphs into an animated cartoon-like commission episodically issuing meaningless utopian resolutions for “peace and justice?” 

Edna Spector 





Dear President Bush: 

I’m eagerly waiting news that you’ve agreed to meet with Cindy Sheehan once you’ve cleared the brush at your Crawford ranch. I understand this is how you spend the greater part of your vacation. How lovely that you can enjoy a five-week hiatus from annoying problems at the White House. Incidentally, from what I read, you’ve taken more vacations than any other president on record.) 

While you’ve frequently stated that you don’t read newspapers or watch television news, I assume you’ve heard from your staff that the anti-war activist, Cindy Sheehan, has been camped, in boiling sun, on the road outside your ranch. You’ve heard, of course, that Ms. Sheehan’s 24-year old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq last year. For this reason, she’s hoping that you’ll come out and meet with her to explain why Casey’s death was justified. So far, only two senior officials have met with her. She’s been turned back by guards and warned that she must vacate your property. Evidently she’d be an embarrassment when you’re visited by Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice. I fervently hope she doesn’t waiver in her determination to speak with you, Mr. President, because this mother represents thousands of other mothers who have shared her loss and known the pain of learning that their sons have also paid the ultimate price for a war that has no justification, that has brought death and unspeakable carnage to a small nation that never, ever posed a threat to this country. 

So, Mr. President, I plead with you to take the short walk from Prairie Chapel (the quaint name of your ranch) and accord Ms. Sheehan the courtesy of meeting with her. 

Dorothy Snodgrass 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am very troubled by the personal attacks by Joanna Graham in the commentary section from the week of Aug. 2. I applaud the commentary of Lawrence W. White in the Aug. 5 edition for its attempt to educate and not simply shout down the opposition. 

As a Rabbi, with a compassionate heart, I really like to think (and really try) to see both sides of the issue. Looking back to the history of the Mideast even before 1948, I understand that both the Israelis and the Palestinians have arguments that can be made in their favor and criticisms that can be leveled about sad behavior with terrible consequences. In too many discussions of the Mideast people are so self righteous about their position while displaying tremendous ignorance of the entire scope of the problem. 

People in Berkeley protect their own right to speak without respecting their neighbor’s right. Free speech to some means shouting down their neighbor rather than speaking, then listening. The attack on John Gertz is ridiculous. I know this honorable man personally and none of what Joanna Graham insinuated in her overblown rhetoric, that he might be doing, was true. 

My question is why would the Daily Planet print it? In a community that is about 25 percent Jewish, the Planet seems to have the idea that most of us support the position that Israel is solely at fault. This is untrue. And I don’t think many of us support hate speech either. I hope we are all in favor of a discussion that acknowledges and knows what has really gone before but wants to find a path that we can all walk together. One of my children’s teachers advocated that my daughter (the child of Rabbis) go to a rally for “Peace in the Middle East.” I was astonished that she didn’t name it what it was, a pro-Palestianian/bash Israel Rally, but also that when questioned she had no real knowledge about how things have gotten to the state they are in—meaning what is the real history. So many in Berkeley are real knee-jerk liberals. I am a liberal, but I like to think that I actually think. What good does it do any of us to have you print the kind of hateful attacks that you do? How are fair-minded people to come to the table if you just inflame the issue? Perhaps it would be interesting to have an opinion page where you have one historian from each side lay out the history and the issues. Inform rather than inflame. And then perhaps we will just have to agree to disagree, but will have an enlarged understanding of the issue and how we all come to it. We may be the home of the Free Speech Movement but we are probably the most intolerant place in the U.S. when faced with a differing view. 

And also it wouldn’t hurt to remember that each of us gets the right to speak but that we only represent ourselves, unless we are elected officials and speaking in that capacity. Many in Berkeley feel that they have the only right opinion and that everyone should believe as they do or they are due only contempt and to be dismissed as fools. 

Rabbi Sara Shendelman 


Column: The View From Here: The Wild Bunch, Circa 2005 By P.M. Price

Friday August 12, 2005

Since my last column concerning the tragic death of Meleia Willis-Starbuck, I have been feeling a heaviness in my heart as I make my way around Berkeley watching teenagers on street corners laughing, loud talking, play fighting—wondering who might be next. I worry about my teenage daughter walking around at night with her friends. “We’re just going to Anna’s house/to Mel’s/to the movies/up on Telegraph/to the “Y”/to the park/around the corner—Chill out, Mom! You worry too much. I can take care of myself. Besides, it’s my life, not yours.” 

What parent hasn’t heard such proclamations coming back to haunt them after defiantly tossing similar words in our own parents’ faces a generation ago? I remember too well using Kahlil Gibran’s poetry to justify my own teenage rebellion: “Your children come through you, they’re not of you—in other words, you don’t own me. You were just a vessel. Thanks for the ride but I’m outta here.” And I hear all too well my parents’ retort leaping out of my own throat: “As long as you’re living in my house, under 18 and not paying rent...” You know the rest, fill in the blank.  

In need of comfort and advice I decided to visit a church—the East Bay Church of Religious Science— which embraces all religions and focuses on positive thinking. I often count on Reverend Elouise Oliver to deliver a timely message with humor and wisdom and she did not disappoint. Reverend E spoke compassionately about an acquaintance who recently approached her with a dilemma. The woman has two sons. One is well-behaved and hard-working, putting himself through school. The other is a drug dealer who regularly attacks his brother and steals his money. The distraught mother did not know what to do. She asked Reverend E: “How can I protect one son while still loving the other?”  

While driving home I turned the radio to NPR and listened to host Sedge Thompson and film critic Roger Ebert discuss the film The Wild Bunch, a breakout Western co-written and directed by Sam Peckinpah in 1969. The film, arriving near the end of the peace-and-love era, shocked audiences with its graphic depictions of brutal violence callously exacted by two warring groups of aging gunslingers. It deals with the issue of loyalty and honor among thieves living by a code that allows the incessant slaughter of innocent bystanders while self-righteously claiming nobility by sticking to one’s word, no matter the consequences. “It was against their code to walk away—to go to Amarillo and get a job,” noted Ebert. I immediately thought of the young man mentioned in the sermon. I decided to rent the movie and give it a closer look.  

It is 1913 and a posse of bounty hunters is hired by a south Texas railroad company to protect its trains from robbers. Their leader, Thornton, has exchanged prison time for leading a rag-tag group in the relentless pursuit of his former partner in crime, Pike, and his band of outlaws. With the onset of the industrial revolution, the rival leaders (superbly portrayed by Robert Ryan and William Holden) see their way of life coming to an end. “I want to make one good score and back off,” Pike says to his buddy, Dutch (played by the wonderful Ernest Borgnine). “Back off to what?” Dutch rejoins. The only cowboy in the bunch who has any family ties is the lone Mexican, Angel. “I care only about my people!” he proclaims. Ironically, it is in a doomed effort to save Angel’s life that the “wild bunch” is eventually brought down.  

Two notable exchanges occur that bring me back to present day conflicts. When one of the outlaws wants to oust another from the group, Pike angrily denounces the complainer: “When you side with a man you stay with him and if you can’t do that you’re like some animal! You’re finished!” Later, Pike reacts to Dutch’s put-down of Thornton’s commitment to hunt them down with the defense that “He gave his word!” “To a railroad!” Dutch protests. “It’s his word!” Pike insists. “That ain’t what counts!” counters Dutch. “It’s who you give your word to!” 

Up until this point, their respective loyalties have not been questioned. The code was the code. But Dutch is asking Pike to dig a little deeper. There’s no time for that, however. It is their blind loyalty and misplaced sense of honor that eventually gets them all killed.  

When I think of the multitudes of young men committing violent crimes, particularly those associated with gangs and drugs, I wonder if they aren’t living—like the wild bunch—in a kind of parallel universe with a set of values and ethics that render mere mortals like me not only inconsequential but nonexistent. Of course, there are so-called white collar criminals who also have no empathy for their victims, e.g. the “innocent bystanders” who lost their life savings, caught in the cross-fires of big-money gangs like Enron and Lincoln Savings and Loan. But it’s the violent crimes that seem to hit us in our collective gut. 

Throughout the film we see groups of indigenous children unfazed by the surrounding violence who move from stoic observation to gleefully initiating some violence of their own. Compassionate disconnect begins at an early age. During the same sermon, Reverend E described a young boy of 11 living near the woman mentioned earlier. He crossed the street to speak to a man he had never seen before, a man hired to do some gardening. “Need anything?” the boy asked the stranger. “I’ve got what you need,” he went on. “What can I get you?”  

In The Wild Bunch, Angel objects to the selling of guns to renegades who have harmed his village: “Would you give guns to someone to kill your family?” he asks. “Ten thousand [dollars ]cuts an awful lot of family ties,” Pike responds. 

So, what do we do with the “bad” son? Give up on him? Lock him up? Or focus on rehabilitation, on helping him to view himself and his surroundings in ways he’s never seen before? 

“How wonderful it would be,” Reverend E preached, “if we were to approach a stranger in our midst with the same words—“Do you need anything? What can I get for you? How can I help?”—that the young drug dealer used so expertly, so easily rolling off his tongue like water. 


Column: Undercurrents: East Oakland Park Opens Up to Free Concerts By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday August 12, 2005

They held two open-air, free music concerts at Arroyo Viejo Park near 77th and Bancroft in Oakland this month, and if your first thought was “Why didn’t I hear about any violence?” that tells more about the public perception of the East Oakland flatlands than it does about the reality. 

Given a leaflet announcing the concerts and asked if she was going to come, a woman out at the Portfest said “East Oakland? I’ll pray on it.” God must have listened, since not a one of us got shot. But that’s the way it is out here in the far flats, friends, mostly all the time. 

Arroyo Park is much the same as I remember it from almost a half a century ago, when I used to bicycle up in the morning and spend my summer days there. There’s the same asphalt courts where I worked for hours on my jump shot (got the shot; never did figure out the jump), and the adjacent McConnell Field where I never learned to hit the curveball, but where I did see Joe Morgan play high school baseball before any of us knew he was going to be Joe Morgan. Down the left field line is the same furry pine tree where the blackbirds used to nest, and where a foul ball into the branches would end the game, as a swarm of them would swoop down like dive bombers, aiming for our heads and clearing the field. Across the great expanse of lawn—still one of the most well-kept in the Bay Area—is the daylighted creek for which the park is named, and where we caught many guppies and salamanders and got our jeans and tennis shoes sopping wet, and the stone amphitheater where we put on shows with the paper maché puppets we made in Arroyo’s summer programs. Do they still have those? After Harry Edwards fumbled through Parks and Rec, who knows what he left in his wake? 

Anyhow, for two successive Sundays in late July and early August, sports took a back seat to music entertainment at Arroyo Park, as mostly black families spread out blankets and set up lawn chairs and umbrellas and canopies, ate barbecue and drank red soda water (a Texas thing, sure-enough), and listened to the old school R&B sounds of Rose Royce one week, and Oakland’s own Lenny Williams the next. Well, not just listened, exactly. One thing you should be warned about, in case you know nothing about black folk, is that when five or six middle-aged African-Americans are gathered together somewhere near music, four of them, at least, will break out in the Electric Slide. 

Others just danced by themselves. Or if they couldn’t get up and dance, drop their heads and put up one hand and wave it back and forth, like the old folks do in church. Many just sang along to familiar songs, recalling good times or lost loves. And in some six hours of events over the two days, the only argument I heard was over whether Randy Moss is going to make a difference with the Raiders. 

Most of the reason is that East Oakland is not nearly as violent a place as you’ve been led to believe. Given the chance, most of us choose to enjoy ourselves and just get along. But part of the reason for the lack of problem was the way security was handled. 

Part of the security was in the hands of members of Minister Louis Farrakhan’s local mosque of the Nation of Islam (not the group that was headed by the late Dr. Yusuf Bey, in case that matters to you). NOI security. Unlike too many Oakland cops, who too often create problems in black crowd situations by their attitudes and demeanor, NOI security is usually successful because it’s both no-nonsense and respectful to the community it is there to serve. 

As for the Oakland cops who also handled security during the Sunday concerts? Well, I don’t know who picked the police for the detail, or who gave out the orders of the day, but whoever it was, they certainly deserve praise as well. The Oakland cops at the Arroyo concerts were both easy-going and professional, acting as if all of us were of part of the same community, as if both we belonged and they belonged, as well. They walked among the crowd in two’s and three’s, chatting amongst themselves and acting as if they didn’t expect trouble, but were only present on the off-chance that some might occur. Some members of the Oakland Black Police Officers Association volunteered to work the Arroyo events in street clothes. 

If only Oakland cops always acted like this at predominantly black events. But maybe these were different cops, or maybe it was a different commander. I don’t know. 

The Arroyo concerts themselves were managed by Oakland’s resident hip hop entertainer-business leader, Dwayne Wiggins, and were sponsored and organized by Oakland District 6 Councilmember Desley Brooks, paid for entirely out of her district budget. Brooks says that publicity was almost entirely through leafleting and mouth-to-mouth, partly because she didn’t want a huge, unmanageable crowd, and partly because she wanted these to be community affairs, drawn from the surrounding neighborhood of the park, giving her constituents something special back for all the tax money they put into the city. It’s the kind of thing you often see in the Grand Avenue area, or in Chinatown, or the Fruitvale. It’s good to see it out in the flats. 

Part of the reason for the success of the concerts is that they have called on old school acts that attract a more mellow, predominantly middle age crowd. Midnight Star is scheduled to perform on Aug. 21, and Dwayne Wiggins on Sept. 11, both starting at 3 p.m., in case you want to pray on it yourself, and come out (food vendors are on-hand in case you want to buy instead of bringing your own). Many of the concert-goers are parents who are bringing out their young children (activities for them are off to the side, away from the bandstand). That makes for a relaxed, family atmosphere. That would be more difficult to maintain if the events were geared toward a more young adult crowd. But that’s something Brooks continues to work on with such things as plans for a safe and legal alternative to the sideshows (with an emphasis on “safe” and “legal”). 

For now, both residents of the East Oakland flatlands and residents all over Oakland ought to be happy about the Arroyo Viejo free music concerts. When you see a rising tide of public participation in areas of the city where folks have normally been left out, it’s a tide that is certain to lift all of Oakland’s boats. Despite what the big developers and their good friends in City Hall may think, the road to Oakland’s well-being does not pass down Broadway. It passes through our neighborhoods, where all of us live. Oakland’s problem is not so much getting other people to like us, but getting us to feel better about ourselves. The sooner we understand that, the sooner we can turn this city around and head it in the right direction. Meanwhile, I’m going to get me another bottle of that red soda water. It’s the Texas in me. 



Friday August 12, 2005

Molotov cocktail 

Berkeley police arrested a 13-year-old Monday on suspicion of possession of a destructive device after he reportedly tossed a Molotov cocktail in the direction a pedestrian in the 1300 block of Josephine. 

BPD spokesperson Officer Joe Okies said the pedestrian called police, who immediately began a search of the area. 

When officers stopped a group of four male juveniles neat the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Rose Street, they discovered that one was holding another Molotov cocktail. 

At that point the youth was arrested. 

Okies said there wasn’t any evidence to indicate that the youth had intended to hit the pedestrian. Had there been, the 13-year-old could have faced an additional charge of assault with a deadly weapon. 


Flight arrested 

A routine traffic stop for failure to use a turn signal in the 1200 block of Mabel Street at 10:41 p.m. Monday turned into something different when both occupants of the car decided to make “foot bail”—policespeak for beating the heat by shank’s mare. 

Unfortunately for them, there’s another piece of police lingo—“You can’t outrun the Motorola” (police radio). 

Officer Okies said the two were quickly apprehended and booked on suspicion of violating a host of statues, including driving without a valid license, probation violation, obstruction of justice, failure to yield and trespassing. 


Cell heist 

A man called police shortly after noon Tuesday to report that another fellow had robbed him the previous night in the 1400 block of Ashby Avenue using the old hand-in-the-pocket-I’ve-got-a-gun ruse. 


Foiled robbery 

A 45-year-old man reported that three men had tried to rob him in the 2400 block of Sixth Street just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, hitting him with a stick in the process. 

The trio had fled before police arrived. 


Crack and keys 

After police stopped a car on Arlington Avenue near Marin Circle shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday, they discovered that one of the pair had an arrest warrant. 

An on-scene search also revealed a quantity of methampethamine and a pipe to smoke it in, as well as a set of specially modified keys of the sort often used by car thieves. 


Machete wielded 

Police are seeking a man who shoved a pedestrian and her companion in the 2400 block of Russell Street shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday. 

Officer Okies said that the incident began when the pedestrian shouted unkind words about the driving habits of a fellow in a yellow car. 

Angry, the driver got out, shoved both pedestrians, then opened his trunk and brandished a machete in their direction before driving off with his female companion. 

He was last seen heading northbound on Telegraph Avenue.

Fire Department Log By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 12, 2005

Motel blaze 

Firefighters have launched an arson investigation following an early morning fire Monday that resulted in $20,000 in damage to a building attached to the Golden Bear Inn in West Berkeley. 

Police arrived within three minutes of the alarm, and had the blaze controlled within 10 minutes after that, saving the $500,000 structure. 

“The fire started on the exterior,” said Gil Dong, acting assistant chief of the Berkeley Fire Department. 

“Because there was no heat source that could have caused the fire and no evidence of cigarette smoking, the cause is listed as suspicious,” Dong said. 

Jonathan Hardy, the inn’s general manager, said the building, a cottage rented out to tenants, was unoccupied at the time of the fire. 


Wall fire 

Firefighters rushed to a home at 2120 Los Angeles Ave. at 9:40 Thursday morning, where they discovered a fire in a wall they later attributed to an overloaded electrical circuit. 

Damaged was contained to the wall, which firefighters had to open to quench the flames.›

News Analysis: Happy Anniversary, Social Security, And Thanks By LYNN DAVIDSON

Friday August 12, 2005

On Aug. 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, so this Aug. 14, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of Social Security, a program that has dramatically cut the poverty rate for seniors and today provides a guaranteed income for over 48 million retirees, families of workers who have died, and disabled people. 

The Social Security program represents a three-part promise between generations of Americans: (1) that no one in America should have to live in poverty after a lifetime of hard work, (2) that children whose parents die should receive support, and (3) that disabled people should not have to suffer extreme deprivation if they can no longer work. This promise has been kept for 70 years, up until now, when the Bush administration and many members of Congress are trying to privatize it, using scare tactics, lies, and deception to convince the public that the system is going broke. 

In fact, the Social Security system is solvent. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if no changes are made to the system, Social Security will be able to pay 100 percent of benefits until 2052 and 80 percent of benefits after that. Much is made of the large population of baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) who will be retiring in the next decade, but in fact, the problem of paying benefits to the baby boom generation was solved back 1984, when Congress raised the Social Security tax to create a trust fund to pay for the baby boomers’ retirement benefits. There is now $1.4 trillion in the Social Security trust fund. By 2018, it will grow to $5 trillion. So the baby boomers are taken care of. 

What is true is that Social Security will probably have to be adjusted again to accommodate the realities of the 21st Century in which people are living longer and producing fewer workers than in 1935. But this will not require a radical reform of the system. The Social Security program can be funded indefinitely either by raising the $90,000 cap on income that is currently subject to the Social Security tax or by repealing the 2001 tax cuts that benefit individuals who earn more than half a million dollars a year, or by a combination of these two strategies. 

Social Security is currently a social insurance program with a guaranteed benefit. How much a beneficiary receives depends on how much the worker earned and how long he or she worked. The check comes in the mail every month, no matter how the economy or the stock market is performing. The average monthly benefit adds up to about $11,000 per year. 

Private accounts—the idea of letting workers divert up to one third of their Social Security contribution into mutual fund accounts—will be bad for most Americans. First, this would take money out of the system, not put it in. Social Security benefits could be slashed by as much as $9,000 per beneficiary per year.  

Second, the risks are too great. What happens if the market is down when you are ready to retire? If you don’t pick the winning stocks? If the market crashes? Right now, there are already plenty of opportunities for people to invest excess income in tax-deferred retirement accounts through 401Ks and IRAs, knowing that no matter what happens with the stock market, at least they will be able to survive on the guaranteed benefit of the Social Security program that we have today. 

Third, disabled workers would lose out in a big way, because even under the best of economic circumstances, a private account would have to accumulate over a full working life to generate sizable benefits. Workers who become disabled after 10 years of work would have almost nothing for themselves and their dependents to live on. Fourth, private accounts would increase the deficit and leave future generations with a huge debt to pay off. The estimates for the conversion cost are between $2 trillion and $5 trillion; this is in addition to the $8 trillion deficit the government is currently running outside of Social Security. The deficit is only one of the many reasons that young people, much more than retired people and baby boomers, should be concerned about what happens to Social Security. If you are young and wonder what all this has to do with you, check out www.rockthevote.com/socialsecurity/whycareaboutss.php. 

While the Bush administration touts private accounts as giving individuals control over their own investments, the fact is that there would be tight restrictions on the mutual funds that the public would be allowed to buy, making it extremely unlikely that the accounts would produce anything close to the great returns being promoted to sell this scheme to the public. In addition, the administration suggests that people could pass money that accumulates in the accounts on to their heirs, but this privilege would only apply to rich people. Low-income citizens would be required to purchase annuities, which provide a guaranteed monthly payment for life but expire at the death of the beneficiary. 

So if everyone loses with private accounts, who wins? Wall Street brokers, who are heavily funding the privatization campaign with a lot of misinformation, because they stand to make millions in the fees and commissions that would be generated by the private accounts. Compare this to the less than 1 percent in administrative costs for the Social Security program that we have today. 

If this all is beginning to sound familiar, it is because the privatization of Social Security is yet one more example of the right wing’s reverse-Robin-Hood policy of stealing savings from working-poor and middle-class citizens, who need these funds to stay out of extreme poverty when they retire, and using it to fund yet more “tax relief” to support the ever more opulent lifestyles of the wealthy. This is why many Americans plan to celebrate Social Security’s birthday by letting their Congressional representatives and Senators know that they oppose private accounts and benefit cuts and support raising the $90,000 cap to ensure that Social Security is will be there for all of us.  


Lynn Davidson is a spokesperson for Social Security Action, a nonpartisan group of Bay Area citizens who are concerned about Social Security. Our e-mail address is SocialSecurityAction@hotmail.com. 


Commentary: Don’t Let Conservatives Silence Berkeley’s Voice By ELLIOT COHEN

Friday August 12, 2005

With U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, as North Korea boast about nuclear weapons, it’s amazing our elected officials appoint Peace and Justice commissioners opposed to bringing the troops home and creating a federal peace department. 

People who value peace and social justice should be concerned that conservative forces are seeking to mute our opposition to the war and silence Berkeley’s voice in the national dialogue. 

Every commissioner has a right to speak freely and vote as they please. Honest differences of opinion deserve respect. But “honest” is a key word when some commissioners harbor a secret agenda. In “Opposed to Department of Peace,” Commissioner Wornick deceitfully omits his father’s role as founder of the Wornick Company, the largest supplier of military food rations. 

To vote against a Department of Peace while his family profits from war, to vote against bringing the troops home while his family profits from keeping them on the ground in Iraq, raises clear ethical conflicts requiring investigation. 

Mr. Gertz wrote “The old Peace and Justice Commission was quick to jump on Israel, but passed not one resolution condemning suicide bombing … [or the] Arab mistreatment of women…” and Commissioner Seaton claims “…. the commission often has cared little about human rights violations, except  

when committed by the U.S. or it’s allies.” 

Both statements are false. The Peace and Justice Commission has condemned human rights abuses by Burma, China, Iran, Mexico, the U.S. and other countries. Before 9/11 we condemned the Taliban specifically for their treatment of women. The Rachel Corrie resolution that so infuriates Commissioner Seaton and Mr. Gertz condemns suicide bombing, stating “…the City of Berkeley … opposes the senseless killing of innocent civilians including Palestinians, Israelis and others…” 

Mr. Gertz justifies the new appointments, saying the new commissioners are not seeking resolutions against Israel or Palestine. That is not the issue. The issue is that they are destroying the Peace and Justice Commission’s ability to function on unrelated matters in an on-going hissy fit because two years ago we recommended Rachel Corrie’s death be investigated. 

And let’s be clear about that: All the Rachel Corrie resolution did was seek an investigation. It never condemned Israel, nor did it mention sanctions or divestment. As someone who abstained on the Rachel Corrie resolution and the resolution to divest from Israel and Palestine I have no ax to grind. As a Yeshiva-educated, Jewish member of this community I would have screamed from the roof tops if I felt Israel was “singled out.” And as a progressive Jew it offends me when extremists claiming to represent “the Jewish community” equate supporting Israel’s right to exist with its worst policies. 

Supporting Israel did not require backing its support of the former apartheid government of South Africa, nor does it require ignoring Rachel Corrie’s tragic death. Regardless of how one feels about Corrie, she engaged in civil disobedience, not violence, and requesting an investigation into the death of an American citizen is not unreasonable. 

That Mr. Gertz would “make toast” of the councilmember who cast the deciding vote against divesting from Israel because he voted for the Corrie resolution illustrates the extremist ideology of these conservatives. 

By law the Peace and Justice Commission develops proposals and advises City Council on international matters including abolishing nuclear weapons, supporting human rights and promoting peace (Berkeley Municipal Code § 3.68.070). When commissioners Kashner and Wornick obstruct that duty, saying we should only work on local issues, when Commissioner Seaton vilifies the reputation of the commission on which he serves by misrepresenting our human rights record, when Rabbi Litman tries to keep communications sent by the public from reaching commissioners because they “offend” her, and when she and commissioners Seaton and Wornick oppose reporting U.S. human rights violations since 9/11 to the U.N. because they are more concerned about the precedent for Israel than human rights, they commit perjury in their hearts and dishonor their oath to uphold the law. 

Before the 1960s Berkeley was similar to tens of thousands of non-descript college towns that dotted the nation. Today Berkeley is internationally known as a voice that speaks out against oppression. If Berkeley’s voice is silenced there will be one less candle in the darkness. 

These extremists are willing to destroy the Peace and Justice Commission, misrepresent our human rights record, and use the editorial pages of this newspaper to intimidate people into silence by implying that those who disagree with them are anti-Semites. These tactics of dishonesty and intimidation are the same tactics used by conservative Republicans. 

Conservatives have captured all three branches of the federal government. Now they are making their move right here in Berkeley. To be silent when attacked, as John Kerry did while the Swift Boat Veterans destroyed his reputation, is a strategy for failure. Those who support peace and social justice must stand our ground or we will lose it. We must speak out, and not allow ourselves to be intimidated. We must let Mayor Bates, councilmembers Capitelli, Olds, Wozniak, and School Board members Issel, Riddle and Rivera, who appointed these conservatives, know how we feel. 


Peace and Justice Commissioner Elliot Cohen sponsored the resolution urging Congress to pass legislation establishing a Department of Peace. 



Is Free Speech Dead in Berkeley? By JOHNATHAN WORNICK

Friday August 12, 2005

Known around the world for alternative thinking, tolerance, magnificent beauty, a great university and birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, Berkeley residents have much to be proud of. 

Due to the real estate boom of the last decade, the wealth necessary to buy homes in Berkeley has shifted the demographics of our city to include people who hold a broad range of political viewpoints. While a majority of these new residents are registered Democrats, they are interested in preserving what they have earned and are naturally more fiscally conservative. Witness the last city-wide election where several tax measures were defeated by an organized citizen base of homeowners, fed up with carrying too much of the financial burdens of a poorly managed city government. 

On a national level, our country is currently in a cyclical shift to the right as clearly expressed by the election of a two-term Republican-led administration, House and Senate.  

I believe the combination of new, more moderate-leaning residents in our city and a national shift to the political right has caused the radical left in Berkeley to feel marginalized. This marginalization has made this group feel threatened. They have little power nationally, but locally they are willing to take whatever steps necessary to hold onto the power they have. Recently I have learned how far they will go to hold onto this power.  

As a member of the Peace and Justice Commission since September, some of the views I’ve expressed have been out of the norm for what has predominantly been a radical left-leaning organization. As a moderate Democrat, representing a growing demographic, I am still an anomaly in Berkeley political involvement. Yet, my understanding of the Free Speech Movement and liberalism meant that people in Berkeley would always stand up for the First Amendment, and I would not only be free to express my views, without fear of reprisal, but welcomed and perhaps even respected. Amazingly, I was mistaken.  

Over the past couple of months I’ve caused what could best be described as a minor ruckus. I dared to vote against a resolution supporting a federal Department of Peace. Later, when I wrote a commentary for this paper explaining my vote, even more people were outraged. (I loved the one where my name was changed from Wornick to Warnik.) Why all the outrage? I spent considerable time reading the legislation originally proposed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. As a student of political science, my analysis of the legislation was that it would fail on many levels and was seriously flawed. Furthermore, because of the lack of support nationally—only 12 percent of the House has signed on as co-sponsors in over two years—there was no urgency, nor any reason for our City Council to waste time and our money debating and passing a resolution to support such legislation. I did exactly what I was appointed to do.  

As my detractors have pointed out, I was the only no-vote. I hardly represented any major threat to the old guard radical left on the commission. Yet, if you read the responses in this paper and the e-mails I have received, you would think I was leading an army of thousands across the city lines, ready to take over City Hall with my supposedly right-wing views.  

Alan Moore, a man with limitless amounts of free time and a self-described long-time advocate of progressive causes, wrote an opinion piece attacking me and my vote in this paper. Not only did he manage to obfuscate my actions and words, he asked Berkeley citizens to request that City Councilmember Gordon Wozniak, my appointer, remove me from the commission. Moore and the rest of the radical left believe I don’t belong on the commission. He wrote that, based on my vote, I am not a “real advocate for peace.” This comment could have been offensive if it wasn’t so laughable. Of course I am a real advocate for peace, but I have a different view than some on how to achieve it. Do I not have a right to express my opinions in Berkeley? Is there no room for an alternate view? Does being on the Peace and Justice Commission require a commissioner’s automatic support for every idea that is brought to it?  

I am reminded of the brilliant marketing ploy by the anti-abortion movement. Years ago they began to call themselves pro-life. The name itself inferred that if one wasn’t pro-life, they must be pro-death. Of course this isn’t true. Here in Berkeley the group that I am at odds with calls themselves “advocates for peace.” Does this mean that if you don’t agree with them you aren’t for peace? They’d like you to think so. 

The radical left on the Peace and Justice Commission is not alone. Some of our city councilmembers speak of “Berkeley values” as if there were one universally accepted version. In the last several years I have seen the rise of intolerance here in Berkeley. On campus, political figures, authors and other speakers who don’t represent these so- called Berkeley values have been heckled, protested, threatened and on several occasions driven out. People who have attempted to attend theses events have been blocked by protesters, amazingly with the full support and involvement of some members of our City Council and UC professors! How has this intolerance been tolerated?  

The other issue I suspect that has gotten under the skin of the radical left is my position that our City Council shouldn’t be wasting their time and our tax dollars debating issues of national and international politics. Of course I understand the importance of an occasional symbolic gesture. The public record has shown that I have supported such things. Nevertheless, I strongly believe our local officials have been elected solely to run the city of Berkeley. The Peace and Justice Commission shouldn’t be in the business of sending three or four resolutions a month to the council to move on, particularly if the resolutions are flawed, sloppy and not representative of a broad base of the city’s residents.  

In the months since I have been on the commission, I have witnessed the radical left up close and in action. I contend that after years of control and power they have become arrogant and intolerant, just like their sworn enemies on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Do they not see this? For some reason I represent a threat and they want me gone. 

Is free speech dead in Berkeley? Is the radical left so fragile that it can’t tolerate an opposing view? If I rattle a few cages it can only make Berkeley stronger. Ultimately, that is my goal. I love the city of Berkeley, but not what some are doing to it.  


Jonathan Wornick is a member of the Peace and Justice Commission. 



Commentary: Neighbors Oppose Parking Plan, Not Beth El By ALAN GOULD

Friday August 12, 2005

Regarding the Aug. 5 commentary “Little Rock Redux” by Katherine Haynes Sanstad, this is an open letter to Beth El congregants and sons of Ms. Haynes Sanstad. 

Your mother is right to teach you to hold your head high and be proud of your heritage. But to liken your new neighbors to racists is terribly misdirected. We have also been called anti-Semites. Neighbors who are Jewish have been called self-hating Jews. Rabbi Raj, at a public meeting, made reference to kristallnacht which was when Nazi’s destroyed Jewish synagogues and homes and murdered Jews in 1938. Whether he intended it or not, many viewed this to imply that opponents of the Beth El synagogue project were anti-Semites and akin to Nazis. 

Back in 1998, when we saw the original plan for your new synagogue with a parking lot to be right over Codornices Creek, neighbors advised that that was not environmentally sound, and contrary to the core values of the neighborhood (see http://loccna.katz.com/docs/corevals.html). After three years of bitter struggle and hearings all the way to City Council, Beth El elders finally saw fit to spare the creek. 

My opposition is to the project as planned, not opposition to Beth El. Beth El elders signed a legal agreement with LOCCNA (your new neighbors) spelling out how the project could benefit all involved with provisions for creek rehabilitation, a parking management plan, and joint committees to solve problems. 

Your mother said, “...neighbors don’t want fellow Berkeley citizens to park on public streets in accordance with existing parking regulations.” 

She missed the point. If a new neighbor came into your neighborhood and announced that they intended to use half of the free parking spaces in the neighborhood every Saturday you would likely object to this, just as your real new neighbors have. Your mother says our lawn signs indicate that the “...hostility of the opposition to Congregation Beth El ... is extreme, even by Berkeley standards.” 

The intent of the lawn signs is not to “foment public opinion against” Beth El but to draw attention to our concerns. There remain serious flaws in the parking plan, and the lawn signs will probably remain at least until those flaws are corrected and Beth El members and guests prove that they will not inundate the neighborhood with parked cars. 

Your mother said, “What will I tell my sons in Berkeley in 2005 as they face the hostility of our North Berkeley neighbors? ‘You have a right to be here. ... We have rejuvenated land that had lain unkempt …. And yes, we are still not wanted, have not been wanted for 10 years.’” 

Yes, you have a right to be here. The geothermal heating of your building is certainly an innovative and welcome feature. The dollars spent in rehabilitating Codornices Creek is appreciated, but the creek rehabilitation job is not completed, and many neighbors doubt your elders’ commitment to preserving the creek greenway, having seen them fight so hard to put a parking lot over the creek. The land that your mother refers to as “unkempt” was viewed by many of us as a vital part of the Codornices Creek corridor, home to many essential plants and animal life. 

I urge you to really read the signs and understand what they are saying. They do not say “We don’t want you here.” They say “Honor your agreements. Minimize parking impacts. Restore the creek and greenway. Respect your neighbors.” If we secure outside funding to daylight the creek, this cannot be done without Beth El’s consent and cooperation spelled out in our agreement. We sincerely hope that Beth El will honor the agreement. 

The agreement also says Beth El must minimize the parking impact on the neighborhood. A parking plan that allows 50 percent of the free parking spaces in the neighborhood to be used up does not minimize parking impacts. Earlier drafts tried to say the plan only applied to events of 200 or more (instead of 150 specified in the agreement) and to make the wording of “events” to refer only to non-religious events (instead of all events specified in the agreement). Some issues are resolved and I feel that we should be able to work out the remaining issues, then focus on actually successfully implementing the plan. 

Your mother said, “Some may say, ‘But this is different. We are not attacking your children, we are attacking Beth El.’ ... Those signs need no ethnic epithets to scream ‘We don’t want you here!’” 

We are not attacking Beth El, and never have. We are criticizing the development plan and urging improvement. About “ethnic epithets,” please just take the signs at face value. Reading ethnic epithets again implies your neighbors are anti-Semites and racists, which is just not true. 

Your mother said, “… my husband and I never dreamed that we would be giving our children the same instructions in Berkeley, Calif., in 2005 that parents gave their teenagers in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957” 

It’s ironic to me that your mother uses the Little Rock parents as an analog to your current situation with lawn signs. You see, I was growing up in Little Rock from 1955-1959. Though I was only in elementary school, I was still aware of a major impact of the racial struggle and desegregation efforts had serious impact on my family. Images of fire hoses and irate, indignant, violent and ugly white folks are emblazoned in my memory. My oldest brother was in high school and as the high schools closed, one by one, due to aborted attempts at desegregation, he had to attend a series of high schools further and further remote from where we lived in Little Rock. His education was virtually wrecked. My parents joined organizations that fought for desegregation and defended teachers who were being intimidated and harassed for taking positions in support of desegregation. The name of one of those groups was STOP (Stop This Outrageous Purge). 

The main thing I want you to know is that I’m not opposed to you. I too “yearn for shalom/peace some day,” and wish that the Beth El elders and neighbors can come to terms so that we may turn our full attention to other important matters, such as improving education, peace in the middle east, and developing ways of living in harmony with our environment. 


Your neighbor,  

Alan Gould 



Arts: SF Mime Troupe Bring’s ‘Doing Good’ to East Bay By ERIC KLEIN Special to the Planet

Friday August 12, 2005

The San Francisco Mime Troupe returns to the East Bay this weekend for a series of free shows, starting this weekend with a couple of performances in Willard Park/Ho Chi Minh. 

This latest Mime Troupe show, Doing Good, is an adaptation of John Perkin’s book Confessions of an Economic Hitman about the journeys of James, a big business economist and his work in under developed countries: the people he meets, the mega-construction projects he works on, the poor folks he wishes he could help. 

Christian Cagigal is the actor who plays three of these poor third-world characters, or as he puts it, “the seemingly benign, little ethnic guys.” Chief among them is Farivar, the swinging all-American Iranian immigrant. At the opening of the show, young Farivar and James enjoy drinking cheap American beer together. Near the end, they meet again, this time in the Shaw’s Iran on the eve of the Islamic revolution there. James is there on business, to build big roads and grow the Iranian economy. Farivar has returned to his home and become a Muslim fundamentalist. He has a bit of wisdom to impart to his old friend about America’s place in the world and how “doing good” doesn’t always lead to doing good. 

Each season since Sept. 11 2001, the Mime Troupe shows have portrayed a different theatrical response to the question of “why do they hate us?” Michael Gene Sullivan, Doing Good’s director, says that this show addresses the hidden history of the United States’ economic relationship with the rest of the world, a8 history that could go along way towards helping Americans understand why many in the “third” world don’t trust the U.S. 

“It’s not necessarily all our fault, like some people rushed to say after 9/11, but on the other hand the people of the Middle East don’t hate us because we love freedom, that’s not it either,” Sullivan said. “There’s a history there and until we understand the history between the Middle East and Europe and the United States we can’t really have an intelligent conversation ... This anger has been building up against the United States for quite some time ... When you’re trying to figure out why someone hates you, don’t go to your best attributes and go: ‘They don’t like me because I’m so admirable. They hate me because I’m so handsome.’ We have a tendency to compliment ourselves. We mistake hatred for jealously, when sometimes they’re just pissed at us because of stuff we actually did.” 

Sullivan is not just the show’s director; he also plays a few roles on stage, and was a writer in the Mime Troupe’s collective process. After developing the adaptation of the Perkins story, the entire cast got together around a big table to read together and then not long after, had the first rehearsal, or what Christian Cagigal calls “a large jam session.” That was back in May. 

“It’s a bit crazy for anyone to think they can write a play in a couple months and then put it up,” Cagigal said. “It’s a rather masochistic idea, so for better or worse we have lots of cooks and we’re all trying really hard to make one really good soup.” 

The actor who plays James, Noah James Butler, agrees that the collective process practiced by the Mime Troupe is a special challenge that makes working with this show unique. 

“As an actor, I always want the playwright sitting right there so I can ask them, ‘What were you thinking when you wrote this? Can we make this change?’” he said. “The Mime Troupe process allows us to bounce ideas off each other and speak our minds.” 

Butler went on to say that the Mime Troupe’s process is a great way to get a show up in front of the public. 

“Having done a lot of underground theater, there are—how can I put this nicely—people with varying talent levels,” he said. “But with the Mime Troupe, everyone is on the same level. Working together. Contributing ideas. Everyone works really well together and it’s really a team effort. It’s what theater should be. Everyone has to unload the truck.” 

The latest Mime Troupe show is a finished play, but it’s also a work in progress. From their opening performance on July 4 in San Francisco’s Dolores Park to the un-official end of the season on Labor Day weekend, the show is always evolving and being refined. 

Although the farthest they will travel this summer is to the Central Valley to the south and Arcata to the north, the troupe has high hopes. 

“I would love to take this to Nebraska or Ohio. Someplace where it might get people thinking about what’s going on,” said Butler. They are in the process of exploring their options to bring Doing Good to audiences outside of Northern California. 

And while the Mime Troupe shows in the past have visited Europe, Asia, and South America, that sort of traveling production has become more difficult in these lean times. Be thankful that you live in these parts, where every summer (with our support) you can count on the Mime Troupe performing for free in a park near you. 


Arts Calendar

Friday August 12, 2005



Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, “A Murder is Announced” by Agatha Christie at 8 p.m. at Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck at Berryman. Runs Fri. and Sat. through Aug. 13. Tickets are $10. 649-5999. www.aeofberkeley.org 

Berkeley Rep, “The Ugly American” Created and performed by Mike Daisey at Berkeley Rep’s Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., through Aug. 13. Tickets are $30-$35. 647-2949. www.berkeleyrep.org 

California Shakespeare Theater, “Nicholas Nickleby” Part 2 at 8 p.m. at Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., between Berkeley and Orinda, through Sept. 18. Tickets are $10-$55. 548-9666. www.calshakes.org 

Contra Costa Civic Theatre “Anything Goes” Cole Porter’s musical, Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. through Aug. 13 at 951 Pomona Ave., El Cerrito. 524-9132. www.ccct.org 

Everyday Theater “ Invisible Cities” with performers from Stomp, The Bright River and Hybrid Project at 8 p.m. at Oakland Metro, 201 Broadway at 2nd, through Aug. 13. Tickets are $14-$25. www.epicarts.org/invisible cities 

The Marsh Berkeley “When God Winked” by Ron Jones. Thurs.-Sat. at 7 p.m. at the Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$22. 800-838-3006.  

“Livin’ Fat” Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St., Oakland, through Aug. 26. Tickets are $15-$25. 332-7125. 

Woodminster Summer Musicals “Hello Dolly!” at 8 p.m. at Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller Rd., Oakland, through Sun. Tickets are $20-33. 531-9597.  


“Luminance” Works by ten women artists opens at Giorgi Gallery, 2911 Claremont Ave.  

Mike Woolson, ”Just Desserts: Images From Black Rock City” opening reception at 7 p.m. at Epic Arts, 1923 Ashby Ave. 


Cinema in Occupied France: “Children of Paradise” at 7:30 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Wendy DeWitt, The Fez Tones at 5:30 p.m. at Baltic Square, behind 121 Park Place, Point Richmond. 223- 3882. www.pointrichmond.com/prmusic 

Irina Rivkin & Emily Shore at 8 p.m. at Rose Street House of Music, 1839 Rose St. RSVP to 594-4000 ext. 687.  

Bobby Matos, percussionist, at 8 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $12-$15. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Cosmo, Razorblade, reggae, at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $11-$13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Quijerema Latin Jazz at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Tamika, R & B vocalist, at 8 p.m. at Maxwell’s 341 13th St., Oakland. 839-6169.  

Diamante, latin fusion, at 8 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Bluegrass Intentions at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $24.50-$25.50. 548-1761.  

The Natives at midnight at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $10. 848-0886.  

Catholic Comb, Foma at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. All ages. Cost is $6. 841-2082.  

George Kahn Trio at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

DJ & Brook, jazz trio, at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344.  

Vaughn Johnson Group at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $10. 845-5373. 

Brown Baggin’, oaktown funk, at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5. 548-1159.  

Cornpone at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Go It Alone, Life-Long Tragedy, Crime in Stereo at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St., an all-ages, member-run, no alcohol, no drugs, no violence club. Cost is $7. 525-9926. 

Terrence Blanchard Sextet at 8 and 10 p.m. through Sun. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $12-$22. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 2 p.m. at Willard Park/Ho Chi Minh, Hillegas and Derby. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 

Shotgun Players, “Cyrano de Bergerac” at 4 p.m., Sat. and Sun. through Sept. 11, at John Hinkle Park, labor day perf. Sept. 5. Free with pass the hat donation after the show. 841-6500. www.shotgunplayers.org 

“Unseen, Today’s Story of Job” at 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 and 7 p.m. at the Julia Morgan Theater. Tickets are $25. 925-798-1300. 


“Luminance” Works by ten women artists. Reception from 1 to 4 p.m. at Giorgi Gallery, 2911 Claremont Ave.  

“New Visions: Introductions 2005” opens at noon at ProArts Gallery, 550 Second St., Oakland. www.proartsgallery.org 

“Tsunami Relief: The Ongoing Effort” Photographs from the tsunami disaster and NOAA models at Addison Street Windows Gallery through Sept. 18. 981-7546. 


Cinema in Occupied France: “Le Mariage de Chiffon” at 7 p.m. and “Remorques” at 9:05 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


World Reggae Soul Festival with Nightingale, Inna Heights, Oonka Symeon, Samuri, and many others, from noon to 5 p.m in People’s Park. Free, but $6 donation requested. Bring a can for the food drive. 536-4563. 

Swamp Coolers, Cajun/Western swing, at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson at 8 p.m. Cost is $11-$13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

“Mainly Mercer” with Jenny Ferris & Laura Klein Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Benefit for Val Esway at 7 p.m. at Mirthwerx Warehouse. All ages welcome. Send an email to staggeringsiren@yahoo.com to confirm the address. 

Lindsay Mac, cellist and singer/songwriter, at 8 p.m. Epic Arts Center, 1923 Ashby Ave. www.epicarts.org 

Angel Magik, hip hop, reggae, dancehall, at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $15. 548-1159.  

Mike Jung, singer-songwriter, at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344.  

Phil Marsh at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761.  

Vocal Sauce at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $10. 845-5373. 

Venezuelan Music Project at 8 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $12-$14. 849-2568.  

Valarie Mulberry & David Gunn, acoustic folk/pop/rock at 7 p.m. at Spuds Pizza, 3290 Adeline St. Cost is $7. 558-0881. 

The Sharpies, Capitol, The Glimmer Stars at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $6. 841-2082.  

Andrea Wolper Quartet at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Broun Fellinis at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Babyland, Barr, This Song is a Mess and So am I at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 



San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 2 p.m. at Willard Park/Ho Chi Minh, Hillegas and Derby. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 


Cinema in Occupied France: “Children of Paradise” at 5:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. 642-0808.  


Jazz Spoken Word Featuring Geechi Taylor Quartet at 6 p.m. at Kimball’s Carnival, 522 Second St., Oakland. Sponsored by The Jazz House. Cost is $5. 415-846-9432. 


“Birds You Can Read- Eleven” an interpretive dance performance by Patricia Bulitt at 2 p.m. at the Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. Followed by reception. 525-2233. 

Traditional Congolese Dance and Drumming, with Pierre Sandor Diabankouezi, former director of the Ballet National du Congo, at 2 p.m. at the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Bancroft at College Ave. Cost is $1-$4. 643-7648. 

Christy Dana CDQ Brazil Quartet at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Americana Unplugged with Diablo Mountain String Band at 5 p.m. at Jupiter. 655-5715. 

Stephanie Ozer, Brazilian jazz, at 4:30 at the Jazzschool. Cost is $10. 845-5373.  

Adrienne Young & Little Sadie at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761.  

Café Bellie at 7:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Belly dancing lesson at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $10. 525-5054.  

King of Kings, reggae, at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5-$7. 548-1159.  



Poetry Express with Barbara Belle-Diamond at 7 p.m., at Priya Restaurant, 2072 San Pablo Ave. berkeleypoetryexpress@yahoo.com 


City Concert Opera Orchestra presents Gluck’s “Il Parnaso confuso” at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way. Tickets are $12-$22. 415-334-7679. www.cityconcertopera.com 

Trovatore, traditional Italian music, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave., at Dwight. 548-5198.  

Mark Ribot Solo! at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $8-$16. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



The Puppet Company, “Mae Lin & the Magic Brush” at 7 p.m. at the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. 526-3720, ext. 17. 


Eyeing Nature: “Animal Attraction” with Wago Kreider in person at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Gallery Talk on “Wholly Grace” works by Susan Dunhan Feliz at noon at the Bade Museum, 1798 Scenic Ave. Free.  


Courtableu at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson at 8 p.m. Cost is $9. 525-5054.  

Adrian Gormley Group, jazz, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

The Warsaw Village Band at 8 p.m. at Lake Merrit Church, 1330 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. Tickets are $18-$20. 444-0303.  

Freight and Salvage Open Mic at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $4.50. 548-1761.  

Mike Lipskin at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Bob Schoen Quartet at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Eddie Palmieri with GIovanni Hidalgo, El Negro, Brian Lynch, and others at 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $14-$26. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Adrian Gormley Group, jazz, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Jazzschool Tuesdays at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



For Your Eyes Only: “Whip Hand” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Berkeley Poetry Slam with host Charles Ellik and Three Blind Mice, at 8:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $5-$7. 841-2082.  

Café Poetry hosted by Paradise at 7:30 p.m. at La Peña. Donation $2. 849-2568.  


Duncan James Trio at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Swingthing at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Swing dance lessons with Belinda Ricklefs at 8 p.m. Cost is $9. 525-5054.  

Whiskey Brothers, Old Time and Bluegrass at 9 p.m. at Albatross, 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473. www.albatrosspub.com 

“Joy of Jazz” with Bishop Norman Williams from the Church of John Coltrane, at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Quimbombo at 10 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low Cost is $5-$10. 548-1159.  

Falsano Baiano at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Beppe Gambetta w/ David Grisman at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $22.50-$23.50. 548-1761.  



“Luminance” Works by ten women artists. Reception at 6 p.m. at Giorgi Gallery, 2911 Claremont Ave.  

“Under the Influence” sculptures by artists with disabilities. Reception for the artists at 6 p.m. at NIAD Art Center, 551 23rd St. Richmond. 620-0290. www.niadart.org 

“New Visions: Introductions 2005” Reception for the artists at 6 p.m. at ProArts Gallery, 550 Second St., Oakland.  


Louis Malle: “Human, Too Human” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Ishmael Reed, Michael Shepler, Ivan Arguelles and others read from their poetry at 7 p.m. at Heyday Institute, 2054 University Ave., Suite 600. 549-3564. 

Aimee Bender, reads from her new book “Willful Creatures” at 7:30 p.m. at Pegasus Books, 2349 Shattuck Ave. 841-5139. 

Word Beat Reading Series with Robert Beck & Louis Cuneo at 7 p.m. at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave. 526-5985. 


Wayne Wallace and The Fourth Dimension at noon at the Berkeley BART Station.  

Go Jimmy Go, The Uptones, Deal’s Gone Bad, ska, rock, soul, at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $8. 525-5054.  

Crooked Jades at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761.  

Misturada at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Montana, Plum, Astral, Tomihira at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $6. 841-2082  

Casey Neill and Hanz Araki at 7 p.m. at AK Press, 674-A 23rd St., Oakland. Cost is $5. 208-1700. 

Celso Alberti & Friends at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Selector at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



Stage Door Conservatory, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at 7:30 p.m., Sat. and Sun. at 5 p.m. at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $7.50-$20. 925-798-1300. 


California Shakespeare Theater, “Nicholas Nickleby” Part 2 at 8 p.m. at Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., Orinda, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$55. 548-9666.  

“Livin’ Fat” Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St., Oakland, through Aug. 26. Tickets are $15-$25. 332-7125. 

The Marsh Berkeley “When God Winked” by Ron Jones. Thurs.-Sat. at 7 p.m. at the Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$22. 800-838-3006.  


Cinema in Occupied France: “La Nuit fantastique” at 7:30 p.m. and “Douce” at 9:20 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


John Calloway and Diaspora, lecture and demonstration at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Free. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 


Marcos Silva and Intersection at noon at the Berkeley BART Station. 

Full Moon, Full Voice, song and chant with Betsy Rose and Francesca Genco at 7:15 p.m. at Vara Healing Arts Center, 850 Talbot St. (enter though courtyard in back), Albany. Donation $10-$15. 525-7082. 

Palenque, traditional Cuban music, at 9 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $12. 849-2568.  

Weber Iago Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

George Kuo, Martin Pahinui, Aaron Mahi, Hawaiian music, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761.  

Steve Erquiaga and Trio Parasiso at 8 p.m. at the Berkeley Public Library. Free. 981-6241. 

Wayne Wallace at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Frito Reynoso at 9 p.m. at Shat- 

tuck Down Low. Cost is $8. 548-1159.  

Que Color at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Vowel Movement, vocal percussion, at 8 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $10-12. 525-5054.  

Clairdee at 7 p.m. at Maxwell’s 341 13th St., Oakland. 839-6169. 

Ilene Adar and Megan Barton at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Val Esway & Mirage at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $7. 841-2082.  

Partyline, Origami, Paper Lanterns, Make Me at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $7. 525-9926. 

Eddie Palmieri with Giovanni Hidalgo, El Negro, Brian Lynch, and others at 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s through Sun. Cost is $14-$26. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 




Editorial: The Media Discovers Cindy Sheehan By BECKY O'MALLEY

Tuesday August 16, 2005

Cindy Sheehan has finally managed to capture the imagination of the nation and of the world. Those of us in northern California have been aware of her campaign against the war in Iraq for more than a year. Members of Military Families Speak Out, including Cindy Sheehan, spoke at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Berkeley in July of 2004, but it’s taken a while for the national media to process their message. This has historically been the case for ideas and movements originating outside of the New York-Washington corridor.  

Part of the reason her story is finally surfacing is that August is a notably slow media month. Many magazines take a week or two off at this time of year, and others (including the New York Times) are uncharacteristically thin. So timing a big media campaign for the slow season when Congress is out of session makes perfect sense. When I was a political operative in the ‘60s we used to say “never underestimate the laziness of the newsies”—the pack will always respond to a well-timed and well-packaged story much faster than they will to raw news events.  

Cindy’s story has always been a compelling one for those who took the time to listen. She was in the position of many parents of young people who can’t connect with jobs or school, to whom the military looks like a good career option, or at least a way to get some education. She was suspicious from the time he enlisted, but his death confirmed her worst fears. 

Just about three years ago (it seems like much longer) I was involved in rescuing a young man of my acquaintance from the evil clutches of an army recruiter in response to his mother’s anguished plea for help. I discovered that the recruiter (then based at Eastmont Mall, probably still there to prey on young Oaklanders) had lied shamelessly to the boy (that’s all he really was) about what he was signing up for, and then lied some more regarding whether or not he could legally change his mind before showing up for induction. That was before the Iraq invasion, and the kid was sufficiently ignorant of current events not to realize that he was headed for combat, not “foreign language training” or a mechanic’s job like Casey Sheehan.  

Not, of course, that the New York Times or the Washington Post or the U.S. Congress were any better informed at that point. Political people around here were starting to get nervous, but they had no real facts to cite.  

The Downing Street memos from that same summer of 2002 reveal that there was plenty to be nervous about. It’s clear that the invasion of Iraq was in the works and moving forward, and that all the subsequent avidly-reported byplay about inspections and weapons of mass destruction was a Bush-Blair concoction which the gullible media eagerly swallowed. It’s no wonder that my young friend and Casey Sheehan were also deceived. 

The nutso-right web pages, including FrontPage.com, mouthpiece of the irrepressible David Horowitz, are fulminating about the fact that Cindy is now getting help from the best-of-breed progressive public relations specialists. Code Pink, started by PR genius Medea Benjamin, is in Crawford with her. According to Thursday’s New York Times, so is Fenton Communications, started by David Fenton, who was hanging out in the same anti-Vietnam-war circles that I was in Michigan in the sixties, and later went on to publicize Rolling Stone magazine when it started. (He might well have been the origin of the lazy-newsy quip quoted above.) The right-wing bloggers are Shocked that PR counts, but of course it does. Fenton et al. have honed their skills over close to forty years of being, more often than not, the bearers of news from the outside trying to get inside. Cindy Sheehan’s message, which was ignored coming out of Berkeley in July 2004, has been cleverly thrown into the media vacuum which surrounds Crawford Texas during Dubya’s summer vacation, and lazy but hungry newsies have gobbled it up.  

It’s too bad that much of the news which makes the bigtime media is, shall we say, enhanced by the skill of the public relations profession, but it is. It’s true that Daily Planet readers heard about Cindy Sheehan last year, but in all fairness we must also say that you heard about her thanks in part to the impressive publicity skills of the local Unitarian Universalists (the “U-U’s” as they’re fondly known), who wield a mean press release considering that they’re amateurs.  

It shouldn’t have taken a sophisticated PR firm like Fenton’s to spotlight Cindy Sheehan so that the major media could see her, but it did. “Enterprise reporting” (which may or may not be the same as what used to be called “investigative reporting” ) has a flashy reputation, but often good reporting just means listening to what people are trying to tell you.  


Editorial: Crying Wolf Can Backfire By BECKY O'MALLEY

Friday August 12, 2005

The Greek slave Aesop told the story of a shepherd boy watching his flock in the hills above town who repeatedly called for help from fellow villagers, saying a wolf was about to attack the sheep. Each time he called, neighbors came, only to find that nothing was happening. Then one day a wolf did come, and the boy cried out for help again. But this time the villagers thought his cries of “wolf, wolf” were false, as before, so they didn’t come, and the wolf devoured the flock.  

Berkeley is a very densely built city, packed with homes and institutions of all kinds. It is inevitable that when an institution wants to expand, there will be neighbors who will feel that their homes are being crowded by what the institution wants. It is a grievous mistake for members and partisans of Berkeley’s numerous institutions to attribute baser motives to neighborhood opposition to their plans.  

Neighbors of the American Baptist Seminary of the West on the south side of the UC campus successfully opposed its plans to construct a new multi-story building. No one accused opponents of anti-Baptistism. 

Disabled residents of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley’s McKinley School building and historic preservation advocates opposed the church’s plans to demolish it. This didn’t make them anti-Presbyterian. The church eventually came up with a new plan that pleased everyone. 

Community gardeners protested the destruction of plants they had cultivated by the new owners of the plot, the Thai Buddhist temple. That wasn’t anti-Buddhistism. When the monks understood the complaints, they apologized for causing distress. 

UC Berkeley’s many expansion sites have been and will continue to be targets of the wrath of neighbors and other citizens. But opponents should not be charged with anti-intellectualism. (Is there a special word for disliking football?) 

Some institutional expansion projects which were undertaken with sensitivity to community wishes have been greeted with open arms from the start. There’s a new synagogue going up on University Avenue, replacing a liquor store, which has been welcomed enthusiastically. The Presbyterian-sponsored Westminster House expansion on Bancroft is considered a great success. UC’s expansion of the Goldman School on Hearst is thought to be as intelligent and sensitive as next-door Soda Hall is hideous. 

Tastes do differ. The new building that Temple Beth El has finished in north Berkeley looks to some like an architectural masterpiece, and to others like a junior high school in Pacoima. But that’s not the point here. The residual dispute that’s causing neighbors (Jewish and non-Jewish) to post complaining signs on their lawn this week is just about parking, the new Berkeley’s most sensitive political topic, one that has torn apart many neighborhoods.  

Neighbors of the Baptist seminary on the south side are now voicing essentially the same complaints as the Beth El neighbors: Their real beef is with the city of Berkeley’s continuing lax enforcement of conditions on use permits for institutions, all kinds of institutions in all sorts of locations. In both of these cases, institution members and neighbors undertook long negotiations in good faith, but now local residents feel that the deal hasn’t been followed.  

Religious institutions in Berkeley, particularly the large ones with regional drawing power like Beth El and ABSW, should remember that they are guests in this city which is our home, and that we are supporting their religious mission, even if we’re not ourselves believers, by providing them with streets to park on while exempting them from paying property taxes. The specific complaints in both cases are technical, too detailed to discuss in this space, but neighbors have some valid points, and they deserve more help than they’ve gotten from Planning Department staff.  

But, please, let’s leave anti-Semitism out of the discussion. Anti-Semitism has absolutely nothing to do with it. Racism has absolutely nothing to do with it. Anti-Semitism and racism are real, living evils, existing in the world and even in Berkeley at this very moment, but they are not the reason some northside residents are annoyed with the institution which has expanded in their neighborhood. And speaking on behalf of all of us who have married into Irish names, the controversy also has nothing to do with America’s historic bias against unlettered Irish immigrants, despite the fact that the congregation’s president is Julie Kennedy (Mrs. Patrick Kennedy, as old-time society editors would have it). 

The danger here, which Aesop’s fable illustrates, is that if careless accusations of anti-Semitism and racism are tossed around in every land-use dispute, when real anti-Semitism and racism rear their ugly heads (and they will), the public will react as the villagers did to the boy who cried wolf, and ignore them. That’s a scenario for disaster. 



Berkeley This Week

Friday August 12, 2005


Praise-Jam Family Festival with the Outdoor Gospel Choir and a Fair with games and local vendors, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St., Oakland. Free. 

Point Richmond Free Outdoor Concert with Wendy DeWitt and The Fez Tones from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Baltic Square, behind 121 Park Place, Point Richmond. 223-3882. www. 


Berkeley Critical Mass Bike Ride meets at the Berkeley BART the second Friday of every month at 5:30 p.m. 

Berkeley Chess Club meets Fridays at 8 p.m. at the East Bay Chess Club, 1940 Virginia St. Players at all levels are welcome. 845-1041. 

Women in Black Vigil, from noon to 1 p.m. at UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph. wibberkeley@yahoo.com 548-6310, 845-1143. 

Meditation, Peace Vigil and Dialogue, gather at noon on the grass close to the West Entrance to UC Berkeley, on Oxford St. near University Ave. People of all traditions are welcome to join us. Sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. 655-6169. www.bpf.org 


San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 2 p.m. at Willard Park/Ho Chi Minh, Hillegass and Derby. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 

World Reggae Soul Festival from noon to 5 p.m in People’s Park. Free, but $6 donation requested. Bring a can for the food drive. 536-4563. 

Tomato Tasting and Cooking Demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, Derby St. at MLK, Jr. Way. Cooking demonstration at 11:30 a.m. 548-3333. 

Mini-Farmers in Tilden A farm exploration program, from 10 to 11 a.m. for ages 4-6 years, accompanied by an adult. We will explore the Little Farm, care for animals, do crafts and farm chores. Wear boots and dress to get dirty! Fee is $5-$7. Registration required. 525-2233. 

Sushi for the More Adventurous Learn the natural and cultural history of this ancient and healthy cuisine. You will prepare and taste many types of sushi. Parent participation required for children ages 8-10. Cost is adult, $35, senior $30, child age 8-12 $25. Registration required. 636-1684. 

Compassionate Cooks Vegetarian Cooking Class A demonstration of five plant-based dishes and samples, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th St. at Castro. Wheelchair accessible. Cost is $35. To register call 531-COOK. www.compassionatecooks.com 

“Herbs for Health and Happiness” Grow your own medicine cabinet, learn new plants and share your own remedies at 2 p.m. at City Slicker Farms, 16th and Center, Oakland. 763-4241. cityslickerfarms@riseup.net 

“What does the AFL-CIO break-up mean for the Left?” with David Bacon, KPFA Morning Show Labor Report and Tim Sears, Labor Attorney & DSA National Political Committee. Moderated by Susan Chacín, Community Services, Alameda County Central Labor Council. From 10 a.m. to noon at the Niebyl-Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave. 

The Great War Society monthly meeting at 10:30 a.m. at 640 Arlington Ave. The topic will be “American Field Service-The Men & the Materiel,” by Robert Denison. For more information call 527-7118. 

“New Schools, New Visions” An educational fair promoting K-12th grade public and charter schools, and youth services programs in Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Emery Secondary School, 1100 47th St. 665-1665. 532-236. 

Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice Rally at 1pm at Berkeley Honda, Shattuck and Parker, on behalf of the striking workers.  

Walking Tour of Old Oakland uptown to the Lake to discover Art Deco landmarks. Meet at 10 a.m. in front of the Paramount Theater at 2025 Broadway. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. 

Free Garden Tours at Regional Parks Botanic Garden Sat. and Sun. at 2 pm. Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Tilden Park. Call to confirm. 841-8732. www.nativeplants.org 

Free Help with Computers at the El Cerrito Library to learn about email, searching the web, the library’s online databases, or basic word processing. Workshops held on Sat. a.m. at 6510 Stockton Ave., El Cerrito. Registration required. 526-7512.  

“ADD & ADHD: Natural Treament Options” with Cecilia Hart at 4 p.m. at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, 1744 Solano Ave. 527-8929. 


San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 2 p.m. at Willard Park/Ho Chi Minh, Hillegass and Derby. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 

Green Sunday “Jerry Brown Runs Again” Should We Warn the Voters? at 5 p.m. at Niebyl-Procter Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave. at 65th, Oakland. Sponsored by the Green Party of Alameda County. 

“How Berkeley Can You Be?” Fundraiser Brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Caffe Venezia, 1799 University Ave. Cost is $20. 644-2204. howberkeley@epicarts.org 

Tilden Bird Walk with Denise Wight Meet at 8 a.m. at Rabbitears, 303 Arlington Ave., Kensington. Cost is $25, includes breakfast. Registration required. 525-6155. 

“Healthy Eating with Garden-Grown Food” Taste and learn to prepare delicious, healthy, easy to prepare recipes at 2 p.m. at City Slicker Farms, 16th and Center, Oakland. 763-4241. cityslickerfarms@riseup.net 

Grizzly Peak Flyfishers Annual Summer Casting Clinic from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Oakland Casting Ponds in McCrea Park, 4460 Shepherd St (at Carson Blvd near the 580 freeway), Oakland. Clinic is co-sponsored by the Oakland Casting Club. Expert, beginning and “wannabe” fly fishers are all welcome. For further information, call Richard Orlando at 547-8629. 

Richmond Art Center’s Whale of a Rummage Sale drom 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2540 Barrett Ave. at 25th St. in Richmond’s Civic Center. 620-6772. www.therichmondartcenter.org 

Hands-on Bike Maintenance Learn how to perform basic repairs on your bike from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at REI, 1338 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $85-$100. 527-4140. 

Fourth Annual Transbay Skronkathon BBQ with creative music, you bring stuff to grill. From noon to 11 p.m. at 21 Grand, 416 25th St., Oakland. 649-8744. http://music.acme.com 

Oakland Heritage Alliance Walking Tour of Pill Hill. Cost is $5-$10. For details call 763-9218. www.oaklandheritage.org 

Social Action Forum with Ruby Long who joined the Peace Corps at age 66 and spent two years in Uzbekistan, at 9:30 a.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. 525-0302, ext. 306. 

Home Buyer Assistance Information Session at 6 p.m. at 1504 Franklin St., Oakland. Sponsored by the Home Buyer Assistance Center. Free, but reservations required. 832-6925, ext. 100. www.hbac.org 

Family Film Sunday Series “Charlotte’s Web” at 11 a.m. at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College Ave. Cost is $5.  

Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace Peace walk around the lake every Sun. at 3 p.m. at the colonnade at the NE end of the lake. 763-8712. lmno4p.org 


“Songsalive!” Songs-in-progress workshop at 7:30 p.m. at Rose Street House of Music. Please bring at least 10 copies of lyrics sheets for the song you wish to present and vegie snacks (optional). Cost is $5. To RSVP call 594-4000 ext. 687. www.rosestreetmusic.com 

Story Tells, a storytelling swap with guest storyteller, Marijo, at 7 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, Jack London Square, Oakland. 527-1141. 


Tuesday Tilden Walkers Join a few slowpoke seniors at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot near the Little Farm for an hour or two walk. In case of questionable weather, call around 8 a.m. 215-7672, 524-9992. 

Family Story Time at 7 p.m. at the Kensington Branch Library, 61 Arlington Ave., Kensington. Free, all ages welcome. 524-3043. 

Tai Chi for Health and Long Life from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Berkeley Salon Discussion Group meets to discuss “Nature vs Nurture” from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut St. Please bring snacks and soft drinks to share. No peanuts please. 601-6690. 

American Red Cross Blood Services Volunteer Orientation from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 6230 Claremont Ave., Oakland. Volunteers are needed to support the more than 40 blood drives held each month all over the East Bay. Advance sign-up needed 594-5165. 

Brainstormer Weekly Pub Quiz every Tuesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Pyramid Alehouse Brewery, 901 Gilman St. 528-9880. 

Berkeley Camera Club meets at 7:30 p.m., at the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda. Share your digital images, slides and prints and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 548-3991. www.berkeleycameraclub.org 

St. John’s Prime Timers meets at 9:30 a.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave. Diana Bohn will show the video titled “The Road to Hope” which she made with Potters for Peace, at 11 a.m. We offer ongoing classes in exercise and creative arts, and always welcome new members over 50. 845-6830. 


Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters welcomes curious guests and new members at 7:15 a.m. at Au Coquelet Cafe, 2000 University Ave. at Milvia. 435-5863.  

Entrepreneurs Networking at 8 a.m. at A’Cuppa Tea, 3202 College Ave. at Alcatraz. Cost is $5. 562-9431.  

Come Spot Come Total recall training for your dog at 6:30 p.m. at Rabbitears, 303 Arlington Ave. Cost is $35, registration required. 525-6155. 

Walking Tour of Historic Oakland Churches and Temples Meet at 10 a.m. at the front of the First Presbyterian Church at 2619 Broadway. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. www. 


Stitch ‘n Bitch Bring your knitting, crocheting and other handcrafts from 6 to 9 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198. 

Kundalini Yoga for All Ages at 2:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Walk Berkeley for Seniors meets every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Sea Breeze Market, just west of the I-80 overpass. Everyone is welcome, wear comfortable shoes. 548-9840. 

The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club provides free instruction every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at 2270 Action St. 841-2174.  

Sing your Way Home A free sing-a-long at 4:30 p.m. every Wed. at the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. 526-3720. 

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at the Berkeley BART Station, corner of Shattuck and Center. Sing for Peace at 6:30 p.m. followed by Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www.geocities.com/ 



San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 7 p.m. at Lakeside Park, Lakeside Drive at Lake Merritt, Oakland. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 

EarthTeam’s Annual Teachers’ Lunch High school and middle school teachers interested in environmental curriculum are invited to this luncheon featuring speakers, Q&A, student video projects, and curriculum materials offered by non-profits. At 11:30 a.m. at First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, entrance on Dana. Free for teachers, $12 for others. RSVP to 655-6658. 

“No More Boring Lunches” A talk on how to prepare qicka nd easy lunches that are nutritionally sound and delicious, at 7 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Volunteer Outreach Workshop for the UC Botanical Garden at 4 p.m. at 200 Centennial Drive. Free, but registration suggested. 643-1924. 

World of Plants Tours Thurs., Sat. and Sun. at 1:30 p.m. at the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. Cost is $5. 643-2755. http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu 

Waterwise Gardening Tour at 1:30 p.m. at the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. Cost is $5. 643-2755. http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu 

Arts and Crafts Cooperative, Inc. (ACCI) Seconds Sale from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Aug. 21 at 1652 Shattuck Ave. 843-2527.?